Calling him a friend to Latvia, President Valdis Zatlers has congratulated Barack Obama on his election Nov. 4 as the 44th president of the United States.
Obama, a first-term U.S. senator from Illinois, defeated John McCain, a veteran Republican senator from Arizona. He becomes the country’s first African American president and will take office on Jan. 20.
“Barack Obama is a friend to Latvia, because he has earlier shown his support for Latvia,” Zatlers said in a press release from his office. “One confirmation of that is his participation in the U.S. Senate resolution on the 90th anniversary of Latvia, which notes the illegality of the decades-long occupation of Latvia.”
Obama on Sept. 8 became a cosponsor of the resolution, S.Con.Res.87, which congratulates Latvia on the anniversary of its Nov. 18, 1918, declaration of independence and calls on the U.S. president to ask Russia to acknowledge that the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states was illegal. The resolution was adopted by the Senate on Sept. 16 and sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. However, the House has yet to act on the Senate resolution or on its own, similar resolution, H. Res. 1405. Both documents are still before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Latvia has always enjoyed the support of both Republican and Democratic presidential administrations, Zatlers said, and he expects continued strengthening of relations with the United States. Latvia expects the election of Obama will promote even closer cooperation between North America and Europe, Zatlers added.
Latvian Foreign Minister Māris Riekstiņš sent a letter of congratulations to Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, who was Obama’s running mate and becomes the next vice president of the United States. The letter, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, notes Biden’s role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Commiittee, his personal investment in promoting U.S.-Latvian relations and his strong support for Latvia’s membership in the NATO defense alliance.
© 1995-2023 Latvians Online
Please contact us for editorial queries, or for permission to republish material. Disclaimer: The content of Web sites to which Latvians Online provides links does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Latvians Online, its staff or its sponsors.