Republic of Latvia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Latvia signs the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism
On 8 September 1998, Latvia signed the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. Ambassador Georgs Andrejevs, Permanent Representative of Latvia to the Council of Europe, signed the text in the presence of Daniel Tarschys, Secretary-General of the Organisation.
The Convention is designed to permit the extradition of people committing particularly serious offences, such as the hijacking of an aircraft, the kidnapping and taking of hostages, the use of bombs, grenades, rockets, letter or parcel bombs. In short it is a measure which may be used against any serious act of violence against the life, physical integrity or liberty of people.
It is expressly provided that nothing in the Convention shall be interpreted as imposing an obligation upon a State to extradite a person who might then be prosecuted or punished solely on account of their race, religion, nationality or political opinion.
The Convention may only be applied between Member States of the Council of Europe. This Convention is in force in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom (UK). It has also been signed by Moldova.
Latvian Foreign Ministry discusses bilateral co-operation with Israeli officials
On 7 September 1998, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy State Secretary, Aivis Ronis, met with a visiting delegation of Israeli government officials to discuss possible bilateral co-operation.
Both sides discussed the situation in the Middle East, the Baltic Sea region, co-operation between both states in international organisations, as well as mutual co-operation between the foreign ministries.
On 11 September 1998, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, Dr Valdis Birkavs, was visited by Chargé d'Affaires of Cuba, Jose Lozano, who had arrived on a farewell visit. Lozano appreciated the existing economic relations between Latvia and Cuba.
The Chargé d'Affaires stated that Cuba was interested in Latvian products. Cuba is already using the services of Latvian harbours for the delivery of goods directly to Latvia, as well as for transit to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Lozano stressed that Latvian harbours are advantageous, not only due to their geographic situation, but also due to their good technical equipment.
Birkavs noted that Latvia is interested in development of mutual economic and trade relations. Both diplomats were unanimous that there were many unused directions for co-operation between the countries which should be developed, eg, the field of tourism.
Lozano and Birkavs agreed to develop co-operation between Latvia and Cuba within international organisations. Birkavs stressed that very important is regular exchange of information between both states.
Lozano regretfully stated that Cuba had to close its embassy in Riga, stressing that this decision had been adopted exclusively in view of a difficult financial situation. The officials considered the possibility of appointing an Honorary Consul of Cuba in Latvia who would be able to continue the development of friendly relations between Latvia and Cuba.
Diplomatic missions accredited in Finland visit Latvia
From 12-13 September, heads of the diplomatic missions accredited in the Republic of Finland visited Latvia. The delegation also included ambassadors from Japan, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and Portugal, as well as representatives of the Finnish Foreign Ministry. The visit is held under suggestion of the Embassy of Latvia in Finland. This is not the first time when the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Finland have expressed their interest in visiting Latvia.
On 12 September, the heads of diplomatic missions met Dr Birkavs. The officials discussed issues concerning the foreign policy of Latvia, the integration process in Europe and the EU enlargement, as well as other topical issues of foreign policy. They also met Riga City Mayor, Andris Berzins.
For more information: Republic of Latvia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Information Department, Brivibas bulv. 36, Riga LV 1395, Latvia. Tel: +371 7 213 235 Fax: +371 7 280 664 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: http://www.mfa.gov.lv/