While on a working visit to Kazakhstan, Members of the Saeima attended a conference hosted by the parliament of Kazakhstan focusing on one of today’s challenges – Religion against Terrorism.
Latvia was represented at the conference by Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, Andrejs Klementjevs, Secretary of the Saeima, and Inguna Sudraba, Chairperson of the Group for Interparliamentary Relations with Kazakhstan.
“This is an issue that concerns the whole international community. There can never be any justification for terrorism, and we need to coordinate our efforts on all levels, including the interparliamentary level, to succeed in combating and preventing terrorism. The Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, signed on 22 October 2015 in Riga, as well as initiatives launched by Latvia during its Presidency of the Council of the EU, contribute to the common framework for early detection and response to terrorism, thus preventing it from spreading,” stressed the Deputy Speaker.
Inese Lībiņa-Egnere also pointed out that terrorism can take many shapes. “In today’s world humanitarian and spiritual values are destroyed under the guise of religious principles. These processes force us to shift our focus to ways of tackling global terrorism without compromising personal freedom of religion and cultural diversity.”
Inguna Sudraba, MP and the Chairperson of the Group for Interparliamentary Relations with Kazakhstan, speaking at the conference on behalf of the Latvian delegation, underlined that “Terrorist attacks around the world are being reported nearly on a daily basis. They have reached Europe as well. It makes us realise that terrorism is not a distant phenomenon, but something real, something that may threaten our countries, our people, our homes”. She also mentioned that nowadays terrorists justify their actions with religious considerations and attract followers on the premise that they defend true religious values. “Representatives of governments, parliaments, religious organisations, opinion leaders must ask themselves – what have we done wrong,” emphasised Inguna Sudraba.
She stressed that Latvia has traditionally had a diverse ethnic and religious composition. “Latvia is a positive example of peaceful coexistence and constructive dialogue between various religious denominations. We have shown that traditional religions and denominations can peacefully coexist and thrive in a shared territory in spite of fundamental differences in their belief systems,” said Inguna Sudraba, and underlined that Christian denominations and other religions successfully cooperate in the name of common interests. “Latvia is an example of religious leaders from various religious denominations promoting peace, harmony and mutual respect.”
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Saeima Press Service