U.S. ambassador lauds Latvia on EU vote

U.S. Ambassador Brian E. Carlson is among foreign officials offering congratulations to Latvia on the result of the Sept. 20 referendum on joining the European Union.

Carlson sent a letter to Prime Minister Einars Repše noting that the United States has been a strong supporter of EU enlargement as force for stability and prosperity in Europe, according to a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Rīga.

More than 1 million Latvian citizens participated in the referendum, with 67 percent saying “yes” to Latvia joining the EU. A total of 10 nations—including Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania—are expected to join next year, boosting the EU to a total of 25 members.

Other early congratulatory messages have been received by President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga from political leaders in Austria, Finland and France, according to the president’s press office.

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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