The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday met with Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš, Prime Minister of Latvia, and Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia, on the margins of the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
In these meetings, Minister Joly reiterated Canada’s long-standing commitment to the security and stability of NATO’s eastern flank and of its Baltic Allies, as demonstrated through Canada’s leadership of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia. Security challenges in the Baltic region were discussed and Minister Joly expressed support for deepening Canada-Latvia relations beyond the scope of collective security, including through expanded trade and investment.
In her meeting with Prime Minister Kariņš, Minister Joly thanked Latvia for hosting the NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. They both then exchanged views on the Belarus border crisis, which jeopardizes stability in the entire region. Minister Joly made clear that Canada, alongside its NATO Allies, unequivocally condemns the orchestration of irregular migration by Belarus.
In her meeting with Minister Rinkēvičs, Minister Joly discussed regional and global issues, concerns over Russia’s current military buildup in and around Ukraine, the evolving situation in Afghanistan, and regional responses to the migration crisis orchestrated by Belarus.
Minister Joly underscored 30 years of re-established bilateral relations between Canada and Latvia, and emphasized the values that unite the two countries, such as respect for human rights, democracy and the rules-based international system.