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Estonian President Alar Karis to make state visit to Latvia this week

President Alar Karis and first lady Sirje Karis in Rapla, Friday, November 11 2022.
President Alar Karis and first lady Sirje Karis in Rapla, Friday, November 11 2022. Source: Aron Urb

On Monday, Estonian President Alar Karis and his wife Sirje Karis will begin an offical state visit to Latvia. Lasting three days, until Wednesday April 26, it will be the first state visit undertaken by President Karis during his time in office.

During the visit, President Alar Karis will meet his Latvian counterpart Egils Levits, as well as Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and Mayor of Riga Mārtiņš Staķis.

On Tuesday, the Estonian President is set to open a business seminar in Riga focusing on connections and creativity in business. He will also present the Livonia Award, which is traditionally given to one Estonian and one Latvian company for their contribution to economy and business in their respective neighboring countries.

On Wednesday Karis will meet with Speaker of the Saeima (Latvian parliament) Edvards Smiltēns, before giving a speech before the Saeima in Estonian.

According to a press release, at the heart of all the meetings during the visit will be closer between Estonia and Latvia, particularly in the digital and defense fields, as well as preparations for the July NATO summit in Vilnius in July and continued support for Ukraine.

Focusing on the development of strategic regional projects and connections, Karis will also visit the underground gas reservoir in Inčukalns and inspect the construction of Rail Baltic's Riga terminal.

Afterwards, Karis will travel to Ādaži to visit the military base, where he will observe the activities of NATO's Northern Division and meet EDF members, who are serving there. In the afternoon, President Karis is set to meet with students studying the Estonian language at the University of Latvia's Livonian Institute.

During the visit, the Estonian and Latvian Presidents will lay wreaths at the foot of the Latvian Freedom Monument, visit the Latvian Occupation Museum and meet members of the student organization Fraternitas Lataviensis.

En route back to Estonia, President Karis will stop at the Rubene Evangelical Lutheran Church and meet Mayor of Valmiera Jānis Baiks. The Head of State will also lay flowers at the memorial plaque in Valmiera to Viljandi schoolboy Viktor Anderson, who died in the Estonian War of Independence.

Karis will also be visiting Vidzeme College, the Valmieramuiža brewery and the Rūjiena ice cream factory.

Along with the Estonian President, his wife Sirje Karis and Andra Levite, wife of the Latvian president, will visit a center for collecting and packing humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

They will also visit Riga TechGirls , the first community in Latvia dedicated to educating and inspiring girls & women about technology.the SOS Children's Village in Valmiera. Sirje Karis will also visit the Riga Estonian School.

Accompanying the head of state on the visit will be Riigikogu MPs Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) and Peeter Tali (Eesti 200) Minister of Climate Kristen Michal (Reform), Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200), Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Commander General Martin Herem and a delegation of Estonian entrepreneurs.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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