Canada to welcome Latvia’s Foreign Minister

Edgars Rinkēvičs, Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs
Photo: Edgars Rinkēvičs, Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

Canadians and Latvians enjoy an excellent relationship and strong ties reaffirmed by Canada’s leadership of a multinational NATO battlegroup in Latvia. Also, in 2016, both countries marked the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, today announced they will welcome Edgars Rinkēvičs, Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Ottawa on March 23 and 24, 2017. Following meetings in Ottawa, Minister Rinkēvičs and his delegation will travel to Toronto for meetings with members of the Latvian community.

During their meetings in Ottawa, the ministers will discuss Canada-Latvia bilateral relations, regional defence and security, including NATO. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for the ministers to consider Canada-European Union relations in light of the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement.


“Latvians and Canadians share an enduring friendship and over 25 years of diplomatic relations. This relationship has been strengthened by the valuable contributions of the Latvian community in Canada, which represents an important part of our national fabric. I am delighted to reinforce this warm relationship by welcoming Edgars Rinkēvičs to Ottawa for his first official visit to Canada. Canada is proud to lead the NATO multinational battlegroup in Latvia, and I trust that our friendship and alliance will continue to prosper.”

– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

“In February I was honoured to witness the historic first vote by an EU member state to ratify the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. When in force, this agreement will support good-paying middle-class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, give consumers more choice and enable greater protections for workers and the environment: this is our progressive trade agenda at work for Canadians.”

– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • In February 2017, Latvia became the first of the EU’s 28 member states to ratify CETA.
  • In spring 2017, the Canadian Armed Forces are scheduled to begin deploying up to 450 troops to Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE to support NATO’s deterrence and defence posture.
  • Canada is acting as the framework nation for the enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Latvia. The battlegroup has soldiers from Albania, Canada, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain. This NATO presence in Latvia is a clear demonstration of allied solidarity, determination and makes it clear that an attack on one ally would be considered an attack on the whole alliance.

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