Baltic and German foreign ministers meet in Riga

Left to right: Matti Maasikas (Estonia), Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Germany), Edgars Rinkēvičs (Latvia), and Linas Linkevičius (Lithuania). (Välisministeerium)
9/13/2016 3:30 PM
Source: BNS/ERR
Category: News

At the annual 3+1 meeting of the foreign ministers of the Baltic states and Germany in Riga on Tuesday, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the countries’ cooperation in the field of security and defense, and to continue implementing the decisions made at the NATO summit in Warsaw earlier this year.

As BNS reported, the ministers stressed the importance of the allies’ decision to establish an enhanced forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Germany’s offer to serve as the framework nation for the multinational presence in Lithuania significantly contributed to the security of the region, the officials said.

Estonia was represented at the meeting by its special envoy to the EU, Matti Maasikas. After Marina Kaljurand’s resignation last week, Jürgen Ligi (Reform) was appointed new Minister of Foreign Affairs only yesterday.

The ministers also reaffirmed the joint commitment of the Baltic states and Germany to the European Union. “Discontent with the functioning of the EU in parts of societies should indeed be taken very seriously, and requires determined actions and adequate responses to make the EU deliver better for all of its citizens. While not stepping back from what has been achieved, common efforts must focus on challenges which can only be addressed by common European answers, while leaving other tasks to the national or regional level,” the ministers wrote in a statement signed at the meeting.

Regarding the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom, the ministers said the Baltic states and Germany stood ready to assist in the negotiations once the British government submits its decision to leave the union in accordance with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The ministers also stressed that the UK would remain an important European partner.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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