President leads delegation to United Kingdom

Meetings with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair are on Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga’s agenda when she visits the United Kingdom from July 9-13, the president’s press office has announced.

The president will lead a delegation that is to include Minister for Economics Aigars Štokenbergs and Minister for Science and Education Baiba Rivža, as well as her husband Imants Freibergs, other officials and about 40 business people.

Vīķe-Freiberga’s stay will begin July 9 with a visit to the men’s final of the Wimbledon tennis championship. That evening, she is to speak at a dinner hosted by the British Business Council.

The following day, July 10, Vīķe-Freiberga is scheduled to meet with Blair and Jack Straw, leader of the House of Commons. She also will visit the British Library to view the Magna Carta and Latvian manuscipts. A reception hosted by Latvian business people is planned that evening in the Royal Garden Hotel in London.

A forum hosted by the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and the London Chamber of Commerce is scheduled the morning of July 11 in the Royal Garden Hotel. Also on the agenda is a meeting with London’s Lord Mayor David Brewer, a speech at the London School of Economics, a meeting with members of Parliament, and an evening reception at the Embassy of Latvia in London.

On July 12 it’s off to Cambridge University, where among other activities the president will meet with Māra Kalniņš, who is a university reader in modern English literature at Corpus Christi College.

Vīķe-Freiberga is scheduled to arrive at 15:30 hours at the Latvian rest home Straumēni in Catthorpe, where she will meet with community members.

Back in London on July 14, the president will visit the Tower of London and view the Crown Jewels and, in the afternoon, visit with Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace. The queen is expected to visit Latvia in October.

Vīķe-Freiberga is scheduled to arrive back in Rīga the evening of July 14.

The trip to the United Kingdom follows a state visit last week to Slovakia.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

3 thoughts on “President leads delegation to United Kingdom

  1. Get real Eriks,maybe our President should bunk down at a cosy little B&B ? She should be treated with the dignity she deserves. Any guests that come to Latvia always stay at the best Hotels and are very well received and looked after. I think our President should stay in the best available Hotel to represent a worthy Nation on our behalf.

  2. Eriks clearly does not understand the concept of ‘Return on Investment’. Here we have our amazing President, tirelessly promoting Latvian trade, culture and education around the world, working a punishing schedule that I can only marvel at. I have no problem with funding anything that makes her tours as comfortable as possible – she is great value for money. My only concern is, who will be capable of replacing her in 2007?

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