President outlines visit to the United States

Latvian President Valdis Zatlers will visit the United States April 21-27, meeting with government officials in Washington, D.C., and attending the American Latvian Association’s annual congress in Cleveland, Ohio, the president’s press office announced April 18.

The president on April 23 is scheduled to lay flowers at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia and at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. He also is scheduled to address The Heritage Foundation and to meet with Sen. Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In the evening, the president and his wife, Lilita, will attend a reception in their honor at the Embassy of Latvia in Washington.

On April 24, Zatlers is to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other government officials. He also is to meet with Democratic Rep. Howard L. Berman, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler, chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe.

A meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a press conference at the National Press Club are on the calendar for April 25, after which the president will travel to the ALA congress in Cleveland. He is scheduled to address delegates during the evening banquet.

Zatlers also is scheduled present the Order of Three Stars, Latvia’s highest civilian honor, to ALA Chairman Mārtiņš Duhms; political scientist, historian and ALA member Māris Arturs Mantenieks; Juris Augusts, chairman of the central board of the veterans group Daugavas Vanagi; and Zigurds Visvaldis Rīders, chair of the Daugavas Vanagi U.S. National Board.

The president also is to lay flowers at the Latvian sculpture and flag in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

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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