On Wednesday, 30 March, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with General Philip Mark Breedlove, Commander of the U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO Allied Command Operations, at the parliament.
Speaker Mūrniece affirmed to General Breedlove that the U.S. is and will continue to be Latvia’s most trusted ally. The Speaker and the Commander of the U.S. European Command shared a common opinion regarding the security threats that our region currently faces.
Speaker Mūrniece thanked the U.S. for supporting Latvia’s efforts to boost its security. She pointed out that Latvia welcomes the long-term U.S. military presence and regular training in the Baltic region, which can largely be attributed to the personal input of Philip M. Breedlove. The Speaker voiced the hope that his successor will also be an active supporter of our region’s security.
The Speaker of the Saeima stressed Latvia’s commitment to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2018. Ināra Mūrniece pointed out that public security and defence are important for the society as a whole, not the Saeima and the government alone. General Breedlove commended Latvia for such a far-sighted approach and remarked that in this regard Latvia serves as a good example to other NATO members.
With regard to the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, Speaker Mūrniece emphasised the importance that Latvia attaches to this event for adopting decisions on a continued and wider NATO military presence in the Baltic region.
In conclusion, General Breedlove expressed gratitude for the warm reception of the U.S. military in Latvia, which benefits both sides.
The meeting was also attended by Ainars Latkovskis, Chairman of the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee; Solvita Āboltiņa, Chairperson of the National Security Committee; Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Rihards Kols, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Raimonds Graube, Commander of the National Armed Forces of Latvia.
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Saeima Press Service