“Latvia is interested in close cooperation with Belarus in the areas of transit and logistics. The Great Stone industrial park project implemented by Belarus and China is a great opportunity to foster such cooperation,” emphasised Gundars Daudze, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, during the meeting with Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister Anatoly Sivak in Minsk on Thursday, 4 October.
As neighbouring countries, Latvia and Belarus have many practical issues to be solved jointly. “I am pleased that both countries have good neighbourly relations and a constructive political dialogue that has gained a new momentum this year, as it opens new opportunities for cooperation in economics, education, tourism, and other areas,” emphasised Gundars Daudze, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, while meeting with senior officials of the Belarusian parliament during his working visit to Minsk.
On Thursday, 21 September, the Saeima conceptually supported the draft law aimed at ratifying the Protocol that would amend the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Protocol provides for the improvement of the legislative framework in order to quicken the handling of complaints at the European Court of Human Rights, thus ensuring that Latvians also have their allegations of human rights violations reviewed faster.
On Wednesday, 13 September Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, hosted a meeting with George J. Furey, Speaker of the Senate of Canada. Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that Canada is an exceptionally strong ally in strengthening the region’s security and pointed out that bilateral cooperation between Canada and Latvia in other areas – such as economy, education and culture – has also been developing successfully.
On Monday, 11 September, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met at the Latvian Parliament with Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Speaker of the Knesset of the State of Israel. During the meeting, Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that this visit serves as an impetus for closer cooperation between Latvia and Israel, including at the level of legislatures.
On Thursday, 7 September, Gundars Daudze, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, met with Ma Biao, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, at the Saeima. During the meeting Deputy Speaker Daudze emphasised: “Latvia and China share an active and pragmatic political dialogue, as well as an intensive exchange of visits at all levels. We can gladly say that our bilateral relations are currently at their highest point ever. This is also reflected in the growing economic cooperation and trade turnover.”
While attending the Nordic-Baltic (NB8) speakers’ meeting in Norway on 21-23 August, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, specifically addressed the question of regional security and resilience against hybrid threats.
Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, at a meeting in Jūrmala with Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania, placed special emphasis on issues pertaining to regional and energy security.
On Thursday, 10 August, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met at the Parliament with Ed Royce, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States House of Representatives. Speaker Mūrniece stated that U.S. support, including military presence, is of principal importance for the security of the Baltic States, and close cooperation with the United States in combatting hybrid threats is also crucial.
On Tuesday, 1 August, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with a US Congress delegation headed by Congressman Joe Wilson. Speaker Mūrniece stated: “The United States of America is our strategic partner, and its continued support for the Baltic region is paramount.”
On Monday, 17 July, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met at the parliament with Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, who is in Latvia on an official visit. The Speaker of the Saeima emphasised that Latvia and Azerbaijan share a successful political dialogue and are interested in deepening economic cooperation.
Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with Paul Ryan, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, in Washington, where she expressed appreciation for the US military presence in Europe and underlined the importance of a strong NATO alliance. Speaker Mūrniece, together with the Nordic and Baltic (NB8) speakers of parliament, is on a visit to the US from 26 to 29 June.
On Thursday, 15 June, the Saeima adopted in the final reading the amendments to the Animal Protection Law prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses and other shows. At present, it is allowed. Other amendments triggered by the European Commission clarify the provisions of the Law pertaining to laboratory animals.