Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting with President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met at Maximos Mansion with the President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, who is paying an official visit to Greece.

“Mr President, It is a pleasure to welcome you to Athens. I also have very fond memories of my visit to Riga last summer. I think I’m very happy about the fact that we have established stronger and more meaningful bilateral relations over the past years.

I think the geopolitical challenges that we face in Europe these days are such, I think, that necessitates the stronger cooperation on many fronts. I’m really looking forward to use this visit to further identify other areas of cooperation. It’s a real pleasure to welcome you to Athens”, noted the Prime Minister at the beginning of the meeting.

“Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. It’s really great to be here in Athens. Αs I was laughing with the President and with the President of the Parliament, we are enjoying not warm, but really hot hospitality. But also, I would say in a way that our two countries are really enjoying very good and very friendly relations when it comes to bilateral dimension, but also when it comes to EU and NATO issues.

Of course, next week, we are already going to be in Washington for NATO Summit to discuss about security, regional security, both in the East and also in the South, the support for Ukraine. But I would say that we believe that at this point, all countries, members of EU and NATO, should work together to address very serious security challenges, to continue supporting Ukraine, to continue addressing the Middle East security challenges.

But also, I think our two countries are having a very similar set of challenges with neighbourhood, albeit also the migration. We are seeing the use of migration as the hybrid war instrument, but we also see the situation, a very, very complex situation here.

Many things to discuss, but when it comes to the bilateral cooperation, we were just talking with the President that we definitely need to increase trade turnover. Definitely, we need to address also the economy and trade relationship”, said from his part the President of Latvia.

During the meeting, they discussed the strengthening of bilateral relations and the common challenges that Greece and Latvia face, such as the migration issue and the efforts to instrumentalize it. The importance of protecting European borders and effectively managing migration flows was underlined.

Moreover, they discussed issues of European and international interest – with emphasis on the latest developments in Ukraine – in view of the upcoming NATO Summit to be held in Washington DC (9-11 July), marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Alliance.

In this context, the two leaders underlined the need to strengthen European defence. Kyriakos Mitsotakis briefed Edgars Rinkēvičs on his initiative together with his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk to create a European air defence shield to be financed with European resources and reiterated the need to strengthen the European defence industry.