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Rinkevics calls for signing of several bilateral trade agreements with Pakistan and Tunisia

BC, Riga, 25.09.2013.Print version
This week, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics began his visit to New York where he will take part in the events of the 68th High Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly until the end of the week, LETA was informed by the Foreign Ministry's press and information department.


As part of his visit, Rinkevics met with Sartaj Aziz, advisor to the prime minister of Pakistan on national security and foreign affairs. The Latvian foreign minister highlighted the economic cooperation potential of both countries and called for speeding up negotiations over the signing of an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation. Both officials also discussed the current developments in Afghanistan, devoting attention to the situation after 2014 when the International Security and Assistance Force operation in Afghanistan will end.


Rinkevics also emphasized the importance of the Northern Distribution Network, which connects Latvia and Afghanistan, and noted the network’s potential of becoming a commercially viable long-term transit corridor also after 2014. During the conversation, Rinkevics called for regular cooperation between both countries also in future, in view of Latvia’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Pakistan’s expertise in the region.


At a meeting with the foreign minister of Tunisia Othman Jerandi, Rinkevics raised the issue of possibly concluding several bilateral agreements, including an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and an agreement on cooperation in culture, education, science and sports. The signing of the agreements would have a positive impact on the development of trade relations and make it easier for Tunisian students to enroll in high quality study programs offered by Latvian higher education institutions to foreign students.


The Latvian foreign minister also attended the Equal Future Partnership event at which foreign ministers, experts and civil society organizations from a number of countries debated the challenges to economic and political empowerment of women.


In his address to the participants, the minister emphasized the great achievements by Latvia in providing education for women and their representation at senior positions in politics and the private sector. Although in a report by the World Economic Forum ranks Latvia 15th in women’s equality, Latvia has committed itself, and urges other states of the initiative to decrease labor market segregation and violence against women and to promote the active economic and civic participation of women.


During a meeting with Jewish organizations based in the United States, Rinkevics talked about the current events in the dialogue in Latvia with the Jewish community, restitution matters, as well as the situation in the Middle East peace process talks. Rinkevics stressed that in order to secure a positive development in the restitution matters not only an active involvement by the government and the parliament is necessary, but also support and understanding from society. During the discussions, the parties agreed that the process of restitution must be transparent.


The foreign minister also took part in the informal ministerial meeting of the International Organization of the Francophonie, aimed to discuss the crisis occurring within the Francophone space and efforts to secure its peace and security.

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