Tashkent, 9 February 2022 (TDI): Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia has arrived in Uzbekistan. He is there to discuss bilateral trade, collaboration for the COVID-19 crisis, and the Afghanistan situation.

Foreign Minister of Latvia in Uzbekistan

The Foreign Minister of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs has reached Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He reached Tashkent on 8 February. There is a large delegation of traders and businessmen with him.

Latvia wants strong economic and trading relations with Uzbekistan. He will discuss international relations of the region including Kazakhstan and China, during his stay.

Latvia and Uzbekistan Relations

Latvia and Uzbekistan have 30 years of strong relations. Basically, Edgars is here for the 30th anniversary of relations. Both states are celebrating an anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Latvia is one of those states, that accepted Uzbekistan after its creation. Tashkent and Riga play an important cooperative role in the region.

Latvian Foreign Minister’s Announcement

The Latvian Foreign Minister drew attention to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Latvia and Uzbekistan. He noted that cooperation between the two countries is evolving in a dynamic manner.

Regular political dialogue and constructive cooperation is taking place in various sectors. Their embassies in Tashkent and Riga are playing a major role in that respect of relations. Latvia is interested in further pursuit of active political dialogue.

It is considering a possibility for organizing political consultations in the second half of this year, Edgars Rinkēvičs said. He also invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Khafizovich Kamilov to visit Latvia.

Explanation of this Visit

The Latvian Foreign Minister added that Latvia would continue providing political and practical support for Uzbekistan both bilaterally and in the EU framework. Latvia will support Uzbekistan in its reform efforts and promote business cooperation.

While, it is welcoming the reforms initiated, in particular, in human rights matters, which are of special importance for the development of cooperation between the EU and Uzbekistan.

The Foreign Minister expressed Latvia’s support for reforms in Uzbekistan in the framework of development cooperation. Uzbekistan remains a priority partner country for Latvia in its development cooperation, said Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Latvia is working in bilateral, EU, and multilateral formats in association with other donors, and will continue investing in Uzbekistan’s young professionals through support for the Advanced Program in European Law and Economy at Riga Graduate School of Law.

There is an intention to implement in Uzbekistan the first pilot project by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia on the transfer of expertise supporting good governance and the rule of law. Including, in the areas of digitalization and gender equality, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.

Cooperation of Latvia in Uzbekistan

Latvia is the largest trade partner of Uzbekistan in Central Asia. Regardless of the decrease in trade under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, future growth in economic cooperation is promising after the crisis.

Latvia sees trade, transport, education and science, agriculture, forestry, veterinary services, green technologies, and tourism as promising sectors in that regard. Latvia supports cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies.

The large business delegation and the participation of the top management of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and the Latvian Employers’ Confederation is proof of the great interest among Latvian businesses in cooperation with Uzbekistan.

Both counterparts commended the work of the Intergovernmental Commission, during the meeting. Which is an effective instrument for the development of cooperation between the two countries.

Latvia’s expectations regarding Uzbekistan

Latvia is one of the EU Member States that actively advocates the strengthening of relations between the EU and Central Asia. The EU is preparing to deepen its engagement with the region.

Latvia is seeking to strengthen its security, resilience, and long-term development. That is of special importance at the time when several destabilization risks are present, for instance, the Afghanistan crisis, developments in Kazakhstan, and the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan situation.

The Latvian Minister expressed support for the signing of the EU-Uzbekistan Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA). He said that he regards Uzbekistan as a cooperation partner to the EU and NATO in promoting security and stability in the region.