NATO Secretary General praises Latvia as a committed NATO Ally
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Riga on 20 January 2012 and met with President Andris Bērziņš, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs and Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks.
During the visit, the Secretary General thanked Latvia for the commitment to defend the Alliance’s values of freedom and democracy and for its contribution to the Alliance’s ISAF operation in Afghanistan. “Your soldiers are helping to build a safer future in Afghanistan”, the Secretary General said. "Your ports and railways are our lifeline to Afghanistan. And every day, Latvia helps shape our decisions on every aspect of NATO’s work”.
The Secretary General took part in the ceremony at the Freedom Monument and Places of Rememberance in Riga, and laid flowers in memory of the Latvians killed by Soviet security forces during the struggle for the restoration of independence on this day in 1991. “The people of Latvia know that freedom does not come for free. You have fought for your liberty many times over the years. Your nation is a symbol of courage and commitment to the cause of freedom ," he said.
The Secretary General and Prime Minister Dombrovskis also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Latvia and NATO concerning Cooperation on Cyber Defence.