On Tuesday, 18 May, the Chairman of the Saeima, Gundars Daudze, met with H.E. Mr. Andrew Soper, the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Latvia of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as he paid his accreditation visit to the Saeima. During the meeting, the dignitaries discussed issues such as mutual contacts of both countries, NATO cooperation and preparations for the NATO PA Spring Session, which will take place from 28 May to 1 June in Riga.During the meeting, Ambassador Soper confirmed the participation of the U.K. parliamentary delegation in the Riga Session. The Chairman of the Saeima, in turn, informed the Ambassador that Latvia will do everything to make sure that the Session proceeds flawlessly and that our country’s guests will have an opportunity to learn more about Latvia’s culture and history. In discussing bilateral cooperation on NATO-related issues, Gundars Daudze pointed out that, on the one hand, NATO membership provides military and economic advantages but, on the other hand, it requires fulfilment of certain obligations. „Therefore, despite the strict austerity measures which Latvia was forced to take, it is continuing its participation in the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, thus confirming that Latvia is a reliable ally that honours its commitments,” noted the Chairman of the Saeima. The Ambassador thanked Latvia for the contribution that Latvian soldiers are making to the security mission in Afghanistan. „We highly value the fact that, as a reliable partner, Latvia is meeting its commitments and continuing its participation in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan,” said Andrew Soper. The Ambassador also expressed the United Kingdom’s interest in using Latvia’s territory and infrastructure in the future as part of the new northern supply route to Afghanistan (the Northern Distribution Network) for non-military cargo. Gundars Daudze, in turn, emphasised the advantages of this Northern Distribution Network and Latvia’s readiness to take part in ensuring the transit of non-military NATO cargo to Afghanistan.
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