On Wednesday, 14 December, while visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with some of the top officials of the UAE: Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.
On behalf of the Saeima and the UAE Federal National Council, Speaker Mūrniece and President Al Qubaisi signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation, highlighting the continued commitment of both countries to deepening cooperation between both speakers and parliamentarians through active exchange of information in vital areas of common interest.
The officials of both countries concluded that bilateral relations between Latvia and UAE are broad and constructive, with active political dialogue bringing both sides ever closer. Ināra Mūrniece underlined that the members of the Saeima have established a group for interparliamentary cooperation with UAE’s legislature. The memorandum signed by the speakers of both parliaments is expected to boost the strengthening of parliamentary relations.
While meeting with Minister of State for International Cooperation, the Speaker of the Saeima and Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy agreed that the opening of UAE’s embassy in Riga and posting of the first residing ambassador to Latvia would become a strong impetus for new forms of cooperation. Latvia is ready to make sure UAE can take the necessary steps towards the goal. Speaker Mūrniece indicated that a Riga Graduate School of Law scholarship programme might be one of the cooperation areas supported by UAE.
Ināra Mūrniece praised bilateral trade relations and underlined that over the past year volume of Latvian commodities exported to the UAE has tripled, and indicated that there is still impressive untapped potential in terms of trade turnover between the two countries. The Speaker also stressed that next year when UAE will be visited by the President of the Republic of Latvia, Mr. Raimonds Vējonis, and a broad business delegation, both countries will be able to discuss the possibilities of bringing economic cooperation to a new level.
UAE officials thanked the Latvian side for its successful Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) and the resulting EU-UAE visa waiver agreement ensuring UAE citizen visa-free travel across the Schengen area. UAE became the first Arab country to sign such an agreement with the EU.
Ināra Mūrniece invited UAE officials to visit Latvia.
During her visit to the United Arab Emirates from 11 to 14 December, the Speaker of the Saeima met with several officials of the country and upon the invitation of Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council, took part in the 11th Global Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament.
While visiting the UAE, the Speaker of the Saeima was accompanied by Rūdolfs Brēmanis, Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of Latvia in the United Arab Emirates.
Saeima Press Service