Latvian leaders send centennial message to Estonia

Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis with President Kersti Kaljulaid at an event in the border town of Valka. Dec. 21, 2017. Source: (Ints Kalnins/Reuters/Scanpix)

Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis and Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs sent to Estonia a message of congratulations for the 100th anniversary of their northern neighbor's independence.

The Latvian leaders congratulated Estonia on its 100th anniversary, and in the speech sent to the people of Estonia, Vējonis recalled an event which clearly bore testimony to the close relations and similar fates of the two Baltic countries.

"Estonia was barely able to get back on its feet, when the next summer, the country sent its sons to aid Latvia in its fight for independence," recalled the Latvian president. "As a matter of fact, the odds of victory in these battles were considered impossible." He asked rhetorically whether a country could do anything more for another country.

In the last 100 years, Vējonis noted, this was just one episode in the joint journey of Latvians and Estonians, the two cultures of which still have a common heritage dating back to Livonian times. The peoples of both countries overcame ordeals together and each realized their respective dreams of a country of their own.

"I am glad that, in these 100 years, we have stood side by side both on ceremonial occasions as well as in historically momentous moments," he said.

"Today, cooperation between Latvia and Estonia is an integral part of everyday life," Vējonis said. "Both countries are very close partners not only in the EU, UN, NATO and other international organizations, but also close neighbors that share the same worldview. I am certain that this is only the beginning, and that by continuing on the journey that we jointly began, we will reach new, even greater heights. I wish Estonia a future filled with peace, freedom and prosperity."

Rinkēvičs also forwarded his congratulations to Estonia, noting that the peoples of Estonia and Latvia are united in genuine friendship and trust.

"Our relations, which are based on the general idea concerning regional security and the future of Europe, are dynamic and constructive," said the Latvian minister. "We support each other, protect common interests on the European and global level, and together stand up against modern challenges in the field of security."

Rinkēvičs congratulated Estonia on its achievements thus far in the field of governance, innovation and digitalization. He expressed certainty that the key to Estonia's success lies in its people's ability to generate fresh ideas and be active and open in today's rapidly changing world. He said that one can only express sincere happiness over how broad and deep relations between Latvia and Estonia are and hope that cooperation between the two countries will increase even further.

"I wish your people good fortune, security and prosperity," Rinkēvičs said.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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