On 30 August 2019, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, Josep Borrell Fontelles, who was in Latvia on a working visit.
The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the close relations between Latvia and Spain also evidenced by Spanish participation in the NATO battle group stationed in Ādaži.
Their further discussion focused in particular on issues of current importance for the European Union, in view of Josep Borrell Fontelles’ nomination as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Shared priorities for Latvia and Spain in negotiations on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework are the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy: we must continue standing up for the convergence of direct payments and sufficient funding for rural development. Unity and preparedness for all scenarios should also be maintained in the talks with the United Kingdom on its withdrawal from the EU and building future relationship.
The Ministers also discussed the ways to improve the effectiveness of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and cooperation with countries in the EU neighbourhood. We call for strengthening the role of Member States in taking decisions on the European Union’s external relations and security, said Edgars Rinkēvičs. The Latvian Foreign Minister underlined that the unity of the EU was indispensable for pursuing the Union’s priorities and maintaining its credibility.
The parties also concurred that equal attention should be paid to the EU’s Eastern and Southern neighbourhoods through continued contribution to stability and security in those countries. In a discussion on tensions in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to restrict Iran’s nuclear programme), Minister Rinkēvičs highlighted the importance of dialogue between the EU and the United States.
The Ministers then exchanged views on current developments concerning NATO and the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, and they focused on risks caused by cyber-attacks and disinformation. Edgars Rinkēvičs stressed in particular that in the fight against disinformation Latvia supported closer contacts between EU and NATO institutions as well as transatlantic cooperation. When discussing the security situation in the region, the Minister thanked Spain for its participation in the NATO battle group in Ādaži and the Baltic Air Policing mission, which is an excellent example of Allied solidarity.
As part of his stay, the Spanish Foreign Minister also met with the Minister of Defence, Artis Pabriks, and visited the Camp Ādaži military base.
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