Prime minister to visit United States, press visa issue

Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvītis, who is facing perhaps his biggest political challenge at home, will visit the United States for two days Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 to meet with officials in Washington, D.C.

The prime minister’s agenda includes continued political dialogue with U.S. officials, as well as lobbying for Latvia admittance to the Visa Waiver Program.

Kalvītis is expected to meet with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and other officials, the prime minister’s office said in a press release.

The trip in part is intended to highlight the 85th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships between Latvia and the United States.

In Latvia, Kalvītis’ coalition government is under pressure over several recent controversial actions that has opponents calling for the prime minister’s resignation and dissolution of parliament.

Also traveling to the United States will be Interior Minister Ivars Godmanis, whose agenda includes a meeting with the Washington-area Latvian community. The meeting is scheduled following the 11 a.m. service Sunday, Nov. 4, in the Latvian Ev.-Lutheran Church of Washington, D.C., 400 Hurley Ave., Rockville, Md.

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 “Prime minister to visit United States, press visa issue

  1. What do you do when the sh*t is hitting the fan and things aren’t looking good? You do as the famous Otter said in the classic movie “Animal House” after the fraternity got into deep doo-doo, “Time for a road trip!”

  2. Please ask your American friends to go to HR1543 and SN653 on and put in their votes on this issue. The web sites also have places where Americans can contact their legislators. Please don’t falsify information on the pages, as it could make the situation worse. But instead, it would be more effective if everyone in Latvia could have a friend in America speak out on his behalf. That would be a great way to show the world that we are allies.

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