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Sunday, 08.12.2013, 17:48
United States support the restitution of Jewish properties in Latvia
"The United States strongly supports restitution to those whose property was confiscated – either by the Nazis or the Communists," Clinton said, adding that this issue has been discussed during each meeting with Latvia's highest officials, writes LETA.
"This is an unfinished historical matter. I also value efforts by the Latvian government in finding a solution to this issue," the U.S. secretary of state added.
She emphasized that finding a quick and fair solution to this matter is in everyone's interest.
In turn, Rinkevics said that Latvia has a very good dialogue with the local Jewish community. He explained that those individuals, whose parents or grandparents owned property in Latvia before WWII, have had the opportunity to regain these properties during the denationalization process. At the moment, discussions are talking place regarding properties owned by Jewish organizations in pre-war Latvia – religious buildings, community buildings etc.
"We support the Jewish community and have also said that it is not always possible to return certain buildings," the minister said, adding that compensation is also possible.
At the same time, Rinkevics said that discussions continue, because this matter is very complicated legally, emotionally and historically, and there are various different views on this issue within political circles. He emphasized that discussions with the Jewish community will continue in order to find a solution to this matter.
As reported, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on a visit to Latvia today.
Latvia is the 100th country that Clinton has visited since taking office as secretary of state.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland previously pointed out that there will be a wide range of topics discussed during Clinton's visit to Latvia.
While in Riga, Clinton will also participate in a street renaming ceremony in honor of former Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, whose Welles Declaration formalized the U.S. refusal to recognize the forced incorporation of the Baltic Republics into the Soviet Union.
Clinton also will lay a wreath at the base of the Freedom Monument, and have informal meetings with local youths and representatives of non-governmental organizations at the University of Latvia.