Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman met Sunday in Riga with Latvian President Valdis Zatlers and expressed Israel's appreciation for what he termed “the fair and balanced position” that Latvia has taken with regard to Israel, within the framework of the European Union.
Lieberman also referred to the march held last week in Riga by extreme right-wing elements to commemorate the Nazis' entrance to the city. He stated that events of this nature take place in the Baltic countries and around the world, and that they should not be tolerated.
Lieberman and Zatlers discussed other Middle Eastern issues on the agenda, including the tension with Iran and Turkey. Lieberman said that Israel and Latvia enjoy a good level of bi-lateral cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, and called for this cooperation to be strengthened.
Previously, FM Lieberman attended the Latvian state ceremony commemorating the Holocaust, and said that in many instances today, anti-Semitism takes the form of an anti-Israeli stance. “The lesson,” he said, “is that the Jewish people must always be prepared to defend themselves.” Lieberman added that the best proof of the Nation of Israel's eternal nature is the existence of the State of Israel, which is the answer to those who wished to annihilate us.
Lieberman noted that Israel is still struggling for its independence and survival, and that Latvia, like other nations of the former Soviet Union that gained independence relatively recently, could better understand Israel's predicament than other European nations could.