Latvia's new president visits Estonia to enhance cooperation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-10 23:34:43|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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TALLINN, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Latvia's new President Egils Levits made his first foreign visit to Estonia on Wednesday after he took the oath of office on Monday.

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid met with her Latvian counterpart at the Presidential Palace here to discuss bilateral ties, security issues and cooperation in cross-border digitalization projects. The issue of joint production of beer was also on the agenda.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Kaljulaid said that Latvia was the third largest trading partner for Estonia. Since the two countries share similar security challenges and interests, Kaljulaid welcomed Latvia's recent efforts to increase it defense spending to 2 percent of its gross domestic product.

The two presidents also discussed environmental protection in the Baltic Sea region, cross-border data exchanges, and potential cooperation in the fields of energy and defense, according to a statement released by the Presidential Office.

Later in the day, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas and Parliament President Henn Polluaas also met with Levits to discuss defense cooperation, the future of the European Union, digitalization and cooperation in the Baltic region to promote regional development. The agenda also included the synchronization of their respective countries' power networks with those of continental Europe, and the further development of the Rail Baltica high-speed railway project.

Levits, a former judge at the European Court of Justice, was elected president of Latvia by parliamentary vote on May 29.

Levits took over the presidency from Raimonds Vejonis, who was elected head of the Latvian state in June 2015. Vejonis did not run for re-election in this year's presidential election.