“We know and appreciate that Latvian Americans have always cherished the idea of an independent Latvia. The Latvian diaspora has played a pivotal part at critical points for Latvia – during the soviet occupation, in our efforts to raise international awareness about the occupation, and when we needed support for joining NATO. Latvia still needs you today when we are faced with information warfare targeting the minds and hearts of our people,” underlined Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima.
On Sunday, 10 April, Speaker Mūrniece and Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, continued their visit to the United States and attended the 65th anniversary event of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Washington D.C. in Rockville, Maryland, and met with the Latvian diaspora.
In her address, Speaker Mūrniece stressed the importance of celebrating Latvia’s centennial around the world and emphasising the achievements of Latvia and its people. “Our common task is to promote Latvia internationally; we must speak of our traditions, culture and accomplishments more,” added the Speaker. She also presented a symbolic and nutritious gift, a loaf of rye bread from Latvia.
Speaker Mūrniece and Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš met with Jānis Vītols, Congregation President of the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, attended the church service and visited the Latvian Sunday School. The Saeima delegation praised the teachers and parents for their dedication and effort to provide the children with the opportunity to learn Latvian and strengthen their national identity and bond with the country. The delegation presented the children with puzzle-games depicting the milestones of Latvia’s road to independence.
Speaker Mūrniece is visiting the United States from 9 to 13 April, and Canada from 13 to 18 April; she is accompanied on the visit by Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima. On location, the delegation of the Latvian parliament is accompanied by Andris Razāns, Latvian ambassador to the United States, and Juris Audariņš, Latvian ambassador to Canada.
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Saeima Press Service