President visits United Kingdom

A visit to Oxford University, discussions with government officials and a brief meeting with Latvian community leaders are on President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga’s schedule as she visits the United Kingdom May 11-13, according to her press office.

Among her plans are May 11 visits to Oxford’s Wolfson and St. Anthony’s colleges, where she is expected to meet with faculty and students to discuss Latvia’s role in the European Union.

On May 12, Vīķe-Freiberga is to meet with the London’s Lord Mayor Robert Finch and various London business representatives. In a brief meeting with Latvian-British community leaders, the president is expected to thank them for their role in seeing Latvia become a member of the EU and the NATO defense alliance, two foreign policy goals that have been achieved in the past two months.

Also planned May 12 is a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The president also is expected to host a reception in the British Parliament in honor of her book, In the Name of Freedom, published last year by the Jumava publishing house in Rīga. The book was originally published in Latvian as Brīvības vārdā.

A May 13 visit to Wales will include meetings with political leaders and signing of a memorandum of understanding between Wales and Latvia. Vīķe-Freiberga also is to be interviewed by BBC Wales television.

The president is scheduled to return to Latvia the evening of May 13.

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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