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Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Riga in 2015

By Andra Kunstberga. 22.08.2013

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Latvia looks ahead to its presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2015

Latvia has received a letter from the president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, supporting Latvia’s willingness to host the Eastern partnership Summit in Riga.

Latvia takes control of the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015, as its Baltic neighbor Lithuania is doing now until the end of 2013. The summit will be held as an integral feature of the presidency.

The Eastern Partnership involves a structured dialogue between six countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) and the EU, aimed at facilitating political rapprochement and economic integration. Promoting closer relations between the six countries and the EU includes the formation of a free-trade area and a visa-free regime at some point in the future, something the EU says Latvia will clearly benefit from.

Work is now underway to define Latvia’s priorities for its upcoming presidency. In discussions with experts and government institutions, the building of the EU’s relations with the Eastern Partnership states has been put forward as a foreign affairs priority.

“The letter from Mr Herman van Rompuy is to be regarded as an acknowledgement of Latvia’s ability to organize such a high-level meeting,” Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics noted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be able to evaluate what has already been done during the presidency of Lithuania, which will hold the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius this November.

“Hopefully the Vilnius Summit will see the signing of an Association Agreement with Ukraine and the initialing of documents of similar nature with Armenia, Georgia and Moldova,” Rinkevics said.

[photo by Juris Kalnins / TAVA]




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