Latvia highlights importance of visa-free travel for Georgia

When in Latvia Georgia’s Foreign Minister honored the people who died in the fight for Latvia’s independence. Photo by Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs., 01 Apr 2016 - 13:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

A visa-free travel regime between Georgia and the European Union (EU) will strengthen economic and trade ties and enhance people-to-people relations, believes Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgards Rinkevics.

While meeting Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze in Riga yesterday, the Latvian official said he hoped the relevant EU bodies would reach a positive consensus and offer Georgia visa-free travel "in the middle of this year”. 

Rinkevics also reaffirmed his country’s support for Georgia’s integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and hoped the upcoming NATO Warsaw Summit would "adequately reflect Georgia’s prospects to the Alliance”. 

In return Janelidze thanked his counterpart for Latvia’s unwavering support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and for supporting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

This year Georgia marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of its independence. Protection of our freedom would be impossible without the moral support and practical assistance of our friends, such as Latvia,” Janelidze said.   

Georgia’s Foreign Minister (L) met his Latvian counterpart in Riga yesterday. Photo by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. 

The two ministers positively assessed the bilateral friendly relations, fruitful cooperation in a range of areas, inter-agency cooperation, growing ties between the regions and increasing dynamics of high-level visits. 

Latvia expressed its readiness to continue supporting Georgia as it carried out its ambitious reform agenda.

Meanwhile in Riga yesterday Janelidze met Speaker of the Saeima (Latvia’s parliament) Inara Murniece, where cooperation issues between the two countries’ legislative bodies was high on the agenda. 

Janelidze thanked Murniece for Latvia’s policy supporting Georgia and for adopting numerous statements supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Latvia’s Parliament Speaker will visit Georgia later this year. Photo by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

He invited her to Georgia to participate in celebrations dedicated to the 25th anniversary of its independence. A statement today by Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said the Latvian official will visit Georgia to attend the special occasion. 

On another note, Janelidze spoke about the upcoming Parliamentary Elections due to be held in October in Georgia. He underlined the aim of the Government was to ensure the democratic elections were held in a fair, open and transparent manner that complied with international standards.

Janelidze paid an official visit to Latvia on March 30-31.