President names new ambassador to Portugal

A new Latvian ambassador to Portugal has been named by President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, her press office has announced.

The new ambassador, Ints Upmacis, replaces Rolands Lappuķe, who now is the Latvian ambassador in Paris.

In the mid-1990s, Upmacis was a counselor in the Latvian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Upmacis also was a co-chairperson of the Lithuanian-Latvian State Border Delineation and Demarcation Commission, which sought to clarify the border between the two nations. In addition, he has served as director of the legal department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Among pursuits of the new ambassador, according to the president’s press office, will be expanding economic relations between Latvia and Portugal.

In a meeting with Vīķe-Freiberga during which he received his accreditation, Upmacis also discussed cultural relations between the two countries. He noted that an anthology of Latvian poetry is due to be published in Portguese at the end of this year. A book of poetry by Leons Briedis already has been released in Portguese.

The Latvian Embassy in Portugal is in the capital, Lisbon. An honorary consul, Augusto Ferreira Machado, is based in Vila Nova de Gaia, according to the foreign ministry.

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

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