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Saturday 24.02.2018 | Name days: Diāna, Dina, Dins
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Saeima holds the annual Foreign and European Affairs debates

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On Thursday, January 24, the Saeima will hold the annual foreign policy debates. The meeting about achievements and planned work in foreign policy and EU affairs will be hosted by Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

“Latvia’s foreign policy serves as a base for our country’s economic interests and improves the attraction of foreign investments. Saeima has a major role in Latvia’s foreign policy. Latvia is part of international parliamentary organizations, and Saeima officials work in a number of such organizations, as well as cooperation groups with other countries. This is why it is important for the parliament and other involved parties to carry out coordinated foreign political activity and express a united position,” – says Saeima’s Foreign Commission Chairman Ojars Kalnins. He notes that the annual foreign debates present officials an opportunity to not only express their own opinions, but also listen to other people.

The Chairman of the commission mentions Latvia’s progress towards joining Eurozone as Latvia’s main priority in foreign policy, as well as Latvia’s presidency over the EU Council and the next EU long-term budget. The discussion about foreign economic relations and regional cooperation, defence policy and transatlantic relations is also important, as well as cooperation with the diaspora, development relations with Russia, as reported by the Saeima press service.

“The European Affairs experts have reviewed the report of the Foreign Minister. This opens the road for a quality discussion during debates. The discussion will include not just the government’s stated foreign policy directions, but also the vision of Saeima officials,” – says Saeima European Affairs Commission Chairwoman Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica.

The European Affairs Commission had invited experts in EU affairs for a discussion on January 11. On January 16, however, the commission discussed the report on whether Latvia needs a long-term strategy for its foreign policy.

In accordance with the Saeima regulations, a speech of an official must not exceed ten minutes when speaking for the first time (five minutes in the second time) during the discussion of the annual foreign minister’s report.

The first Saeima foreign policy debates took place on January 27, 2011.

The foreign debates are organized as part of the international de jure recognition of the Republic of Latvia (January 26).

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