On Thursday, 11 February, Mr. Gundars Daudze, Speaker of the Parliament of Latvia (Saeima), emphasised that hosting the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Spring Session in Riga will facilitate recognisability of Latvia.


Speaker of the Saeima indicated that the decision to host the NATO PA was adopted by the Saeima back in 2005; by organising this event we are affirming our commitment to our NATO partners. G. Daudze explained that it is a possibility to attract international attention to Latvia. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, as well as 400 representatives from NATO member states and associate countries will attend the event. Approximately 1,000 people are expected to visit Riga in the framework of the Session. 

Speaker of the Saeima said that security measures in Riga will not be as strong as during the NATO Riga Summit in 2006; traffic will be restricted mostly in the vicinity of the venue in Ķīpsala. Daily life of Rigans will be affected as little as possible. 

Ms. Vaira Paegle, head of the Latvian delegation to the NATO PA, highlighted the role of the Parliamentary Assembly and indicated that regarding certain issues the Parliamentary Assembly has been more categorical and strict than the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation itself. It has had a decisive role during Latvia’s accession to NATO. 

Ms. Vaira Paegle stated that international security issues will be on the agenda of the Spring Session of the NATO PA in Riga. According to Ms. Paegle, topics for consideration will include NATO’s new Strategic Concept, the Alliance’s relations with Iran and Russia, the global economic crisis, and the NATO-led military operation in Afghanistan.

The Spring Session of the NATO PA in Riga will be held from 28 May to 1 June 2010 in the international exhibition centre Ķīpsala. 

NATO PA Sessions take place twice a year –- in spring and autumn. The previous session took place in Edinburgh, UK; this session will be held in Riga, Latvia, and the next session will convene in Warsaw, capital of Poland.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is a consultative inter-parliamentary organisation founded in 1955 which unites parliamentarians from member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The NATO PA is providing an essential link between NATO and the parliaments of the NATO member states, helping to build parliamentary and public consensus in support of Alliance policies. 

For more information on the NATO PA and its Spring Session, please visit the website of the 2010 Spring Session of the NATO PA http://www.natopariga.lv/ and the official website of the Alliance http://www.nato-pa.int/.

Press conference photos: www.flickr.com/saeima.
Press conference video: www.youtube.com/SaeimaSAB.
If you use any material, please give credit to the Saeima Chancellery. 

Press Service
of the Public Relations Department
of the Parliament of Latvia
Phone.: +371 67087218
Mobile phone.: +371 261 36160 
E-mail: prese@saeima.lv


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