Brief statement by King Willem-Alexander after his meeting with President Raimonds Vējonis of Latvia, Riga
I’d like to start by thanking President Vējonis for the invitation and for his kind and warm words.
This visit means a lot to me. This year marks the hundredth anniversary of Latvia’s declaration of independence. At this special time I am very pleased to be with you. It gives me a chance to convey how much the Netherlands values today’s Latvia. A country where free and proud people can determine their own future.
We know your history, and we are all too aware of the great sacrifices this country has made. It was thanks to the courage and conviction of its people that Latvia regained its independence. Today you set your own course and choose your own partners. And we can see the result: a country that is flourishing in many fronts.
I am here to express our great admiration for your achievements. But also to celebrate the strong bond that we feel. For fourteen years now, Latvia has been a valuable member of the European Union and NATO.
The Netherlands feels a great affinity with Latvia within both the Union and the alliance. We are like-minded countries. So it’s important that we seek each other out and join forces.
Our ties go back a long way. As early as the 15th century, we had close trade links, traces of which are still visible in this city. During this visit we will be exploring new forms of cooperation, especially in the field of transport and logistics.
Your hospitality, Mr President, shows that you also value our partnership, and for that I’m grateful.
In an uncertain world, our countries stand together, promoting stability, security and growth.
Both our strength and our freedom are grounded in our alliance as EU and NATO partners.
I look forward to bolstering our friendship even more during this visit!