On 17 June 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, participated in the meeting of the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, in which the sharing of opinions took place on the effectiveness of the EU Common Foreign and Security policy and progress in the implementation of the EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy.
Edgars Rinkēvičs took the position that EU unity was paramount for the implementation of the EU’s priorities and preservation of the international credibility of the Union. “Latvia supports the building of the EU’s external relations in line with principles enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon: effectiveness, EU unity and genuine cooperation. From Latvia’s perspective, a stronger coordination is needed between EU institutions and Member States,” said Minister Rinkēvičs.
Referring to the EU Global Strategy, Edgars Rinkēvičs emphasised that the EU should continue to support and strengthen the multilateral rules-based order, including in the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, as well as maintaining an active role in those formats.
“Latvia underlines that transatlantic unity is indispensable for European and global security. In view of this, despite differences of opinion with the US in some policy area or other, the transatlantic link should be reinforced. Therefore, it is important that the EU’s new security and defence initiatives be open to the participation of the US and other allies. We believe that the building of EU capabilities, increased investments in defence and support for the Member States’ defence industries strengthen the EU’s capacity for action and contribute to transatlantic security. Latvia is interested in particular in an agreement being achieved on uniform border-crossing conditions and procedures, as well as dual-use technical requirements that are necessary for facilitating military mobility of the EU Member States and the Allies across the entire EU territory,” said Edgars Rinkēvičs.
The Latvian Foreign Minister expressed his conviction of the need for the EU to continue working to strengthen cooperation on hybrid threats, cybersecurity, strategic communication, the EU-NATO cooperation, and to counter disinformation and enhance civilian capabilities. “Latvia would like to stress in particular how important it is to connect the internal and external policy and to facilitate resilience both in the EU and its neighbourhood, including through integrated approach to conflicts and crises. We believe that, seeking to strengthen the EU’s cooperation with various regions, special attention should be paid to discussions on the future of the post-2020 Eastern Partnership, and the new EU Strategy on Central Asia should be put into practice,” Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.
The Council also exchanged views on the situation in Sudan, where vast protests began in December last year. The Foreign Ministers will then have a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Jordan, Ayman Al Safadi, for a discussion on recent developments in the Middle East region – the situation in Syria and Iran, and the Middle East peace process.
The meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council are held on a monthly basis, and they are chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.
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