Australia is one of the major host countries for the Latvian diaspora. Australia was among the countries which gave refuge to Latvians after World War II and it was in this way that one of the largest Latvian communities the world over came into existence.
I would like to offer you – members of the exile community and their descendants – my gratitude for your faith in the rebirth of Latvia, and for your support in the renewal of Latvia. Thank you for your dedicated work to sustain the Latvian language, culture and traditions for decades and over a great geographical distance from the country of your ancestors. I would like to thank the young members of the community who have for various reasons arrived in Australia and New Zealand only recently and maintain links with Latvia in their effort to give their contribution to the development of Latvia. You are representing a significant part of our nation, and that sets us new common tasks.
People who, regardless of their ethnic origin and nationality, maintain and build their connection with Latvia are of high importance to us. Over the past decade, the diaspora policy has evolved rapidly, resulting in the adoption of the Diaspora Law in the late 2018. We are prepared to work hard so that your ties with Latvia would grow increasingly stronger.
Latvians in Australia and New Zealand are and will remain major partners in the dialogue to formulate the future diaspora policy. We hold in high regard the current cooperation and we are glad that Australia and New Zealand are represented on the Diaspora Advisory Council established this year.
The opening of an embassy in Australia and New Zealand has been on the agenda of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a long time. The opening of the embassy in Australia, which would reinforce the link with the diaspora and promote economic cooperation, was scheduled for 2020. I regret to say that, in light of the broader priorities of the Latvian Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has agreed to postpone the launch of the mission.
I ask you to show understanding of this decision. I would like to confirm that the opening of an embassy in Australia and New Zealand remains a priority for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the matter will be tabled for consideration in the process of planning the national budget for the coming years.
My congratulations on the 101st anniversary of Latvia.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia