On 28 May 2019, the Political Directors of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and France met for consultations in Paris. The Latvian delegation was headed by the Under Secretary, Political Director Jānis Mažeiks, and the French delegation – by the Director General for Policies and Security, Nicolas de Riviere. The consultations featured an exchange of views on security and defence topics, transatlantic relations, the conflict in Ukraine, and developments in the Middle East, the Maghreb and the Sahel.
In a discussion on security-related issues, Jānis Mažeiks noted that Latvia supported the strengthening of EU cooperation on security and defence. “An increase in the EU’s capabilities and greater contributions by Member States enhance the EU’s capacity to act. All EU initiatives should complement NATO, which is the main collective security organisation in Europe.” Jānis Mažeiks thanked France for its substantial contribution to the strengthening of the Baltic region’s security by taking part, on a regular basis, in the Baltic Air Policing mission and the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle group.
The consultations also covered topics related to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Jānis Mažeiks underlined that the Russian President’s decrees simplifying the procedure for the residents of Ukraine to obtain Russian citizenship was yet another proof of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
The discussion on the Middle East focused on Iran. Jānis Mažeiks pointed out that a dialogue between the U.S. and the EU was vital in terms of seeking solutions to threats posed by Iran’s aggressive regional policy and its ballistic missile programme.
As part of his visit, Jānis Mažeiks also shared views on security and defence issues with the Director for Europe, North America and Multilateral Affairs at the Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy of the French Ministry of Defence, Olivier Landour. He then met with the Director of the Paris Office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer, for a discussion on transatlantic relations.
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