On Thursday, 14 April, during her official visit to Canada Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with high-ranking officials of the Senate and House of Commons. Speaker Mūrniece emphasised the importance of the partnership between Canada and Latvia, expressing appreciation for Canada’s practical contribution to strengthening security. She also underlined the close bilateral cooperation in implementing the decisions taken at the Wales Summit, and confirmed Latvia’s willingness to further develop cooperation within NATO, especially in light of the upcoming Warsaw Summit, where Canada’s political support will be crucial in reaching an agreement on long-term presence of NATO forces in the Baltics.
Speaker Mūrniece and Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, met with George J. Furey, Speaker of the Senate of Canada, Geoff Regan, Speaker of the House of Commons, Raynell Andreychuk, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. They also discussed security policy with John McKay, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.
The Saeima delegation elaborated on the security challenges Latvia is facing and informed Canadian officials about Latvia’s commitment to increase its defence budget to 2% of GDP by 2018.
Both parties agreed that economic sanctions against Russia must be continued until the Minsk agreements are implemented in full.
Speaker Mūrniece pointed out that Canada is a stable and reliable partner, which is reflected in the bilateral economic relations. Last year the trade between the two countries grew by nearly 18%, and Canadian business investment in Latvia constituted nearly 14 million euros.
The Latvian delegation was officially introduced to the Senate and the House of Commons, and observed the work of both chambers of the Canadian parliament.
Speaker Mūrniece is visiting Canada from 13 to 18 April; she is accompanied on the official 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 Juris Audariņš, Latvian ambassador to Canada.
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Saeima Press Service