During her official visit to the Republic of Estonia, Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, met Ene Ergma, Speaker of the Estonian parliament, and emphasized that the unity of the Baltic States is still important and that we have to use the political and economic potential of our cooperation pragmatically.
“During my term of office as the Speaker of the Saeima, among my priorities in foreign policy is strengthening the unity of the Baltic States on the governmental and parliamentary level. I will support development of closer bilateral ties with Estonia, as well as closer relations between our countries on the regional level, namely, in the framework of the Baltic Assembly and Nordic—Baltic cooperation,” said Āboltiņa.
Both Speakers agreed that the Baltic Assembly is an appropriate forum for promoting the interests of the Baltic States on the European level and in cooperation with other countries. At the same time, consideration should be given to improving the work of this organisation and ensuring that its agenda contains more proposals for practical cooperation.
Speakers of both parliaments noted that their meeting is taking place at a historic moment – 20 years after the barricades and 90 years since Latvia and Estonia were internationally recognised de iure. Speaker Āboltiņa indicated that “Estonia is not merely Latvia’s neighbour; it has been our close ally for centuries. Our states were born in the same year, and Estonian soldiers lost their lives in the struggle for Latvia’s independence as well”.
Furthermore, Solvita Āboltiņa pointed out that in August, 20 years will have elapsed since Latvia and Estonia regained their independence de facto. Commemorative events are planned to celebrate this anniversary, and they could be arranged by both states jointly.
During the meeting with Trivimi Velliste, President of the Baltic Assembly, Speaker Āboltiņa indicated that the de iure recognition of Latvia and Estonia, as well as numerous other events, indicates that our countries share a common history and have close ties. The Speaker emphasised that Latvia and Estonia were together both when standing in the Baltic Way and when joining the European Union and NATO. “The destinies of the Baltic States have not been easy. We have always had to struggle for our statehood, to defend it and to protect it. We have been most successful when we have been united and have acted in a coordinated manner,” said Āboltiņa.
From 25 to 26 January, Speaker Solvita Āboltiņa is paying an official visit to Estonia, where she is scheduled to meet with Estonia’s top officials. During her visit, the Speaker is accompanied by Kārlis Šadurskis, Secretary of the Saeima, and Vitālijs Orlovs, member of the Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee and member of the Latvian delegation to the Baltic Assembly.
Photos from the meetings are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/sets/72157625783939275/
Photos taken by: Maria Laatspera, Estonian parliament
Saeima Press Service