On Wednesday, 14 February, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Rt. Hon. John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who is on an official visit to Latvia, first Speaker-level visit since 2000. Speaker Mūrniece expressed appreciation of the United Kingdom’s contribution in strengthening the security of the Baltic States and underlined the importance of further developing close partnership in such core areas as security, defence and foreign policy.
“Latvia and the United Kingdom have already established an active parliamentary dialogue, which plays an increasingly important role, as the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. Likewise, Latvia highly values and looks forward to strengthening the multilateral regional cooperation between the Baltics, the Nordic States and the United Kingdom further”, said Mūrniece.
Speaker Mūrniece acknowledged the fruitful economic cooperation and steadily growing trade turnover between the two countries. “It is in our interests to develop economic cooperation in high added value sectors; Latvian entrepreneurs are highly interested in maintaining close trade ties also in future.”
Speaker Mūrniece touched upon the topic of the large Latvian diaspora in the United Kingdom, highlighting the importance Latvia attaches to protecting the interests of its nationals. She pointed out that civic rights, cooperation in education and science would remain high on the Latvian-British cooperation agenda.
Speaker Mūrniece acknowledged Latvia’s constant struggle with the Kremlin propaganda, which requires appropriate countermeasures in the form of strategic communication and strengthening of media. She thanked the United Kingdom for its cooperation in the area of strategic communication and the fight against hybrid threats.
Rt. Hon. John Bercow highlighted the growing importance of the bilateral relations between the two countries, in light of which he extended an invitation to Speaker Mūrniece to visit the United Kingdom.
Ms. Lolita Čigāne, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima, Chair of the Group for Interparliamentary Relations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Mr. Rihards Kols, Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, member of the Group for Interparliamentary Relations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland also participated in the meeting.
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