Italian president stresses cooperation with Latvia in EU, NATO

Source: Xinhua| 2018-07-04 02:16:50|Editor: yan
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RIGA, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrived in Latvia on Tuesday for a visit dedicated to the Baltic country's centenary and aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation in the European Union (EU) and NATO, local media reported.

While meeting with his Italian counterpart, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis thanked Italy for its involvement in boosting his country's security and contributing troops to the multinational NATO battlegroup in Latvia.

For his part, Mattarella stressed the importance of maintaining transatlantic ties and promoting cooperation among countries within the EU and NATO.

Soon there will be a NATO summit at which we will have to discuss future solutions to various security issues. This also concerns transatlantic ties which are extremely important both to Italy and Latvia, Mattarella said.

Latvian President Vejonis said in a statement to the media that this "visit takes place in a highly significant year for Latvia which celebrates the centenary of its statehood, and it clearly affirms the close and friendly relations between Latvia and Italy that have developed over the course of many years and are becoming increasingly strong".

Urging to strengthen Europe's solidarity, Vejonis expressed support for a Europe that is not divided into the North, South, East and West. "We are for a Europe that takes shared responsibility and is ready to agree on concrete action to deal with our common challenges," the Latvian president said.

He indicated that Latvia and Italy are facing many common challenges as their borders are also the external borders of the EU, which is why the countries have to be prepared for the new security challenges brought about by migration. "Security of the external border is highly important to Europe's security," Vejonis said.

"We need to build strong bridges between the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea not only in terms of security but also in economic cooperation, education, science and culture," the Latvian president said, "Latvia and Italy are open and dynamic economies. It is therefore essential to develop this economic cooperation in various areas, not only in tourism."