Zatlers congratulates Obama on U.S. election victory

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.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

One thought on “Zatlers congratulates Obama on U.S. election victory

  1. As one who holds Canadian citizenship and is from Canada, Republicans and the Republican Party in America have held my attention and support for a very long time. I regret that Senator John McCain did not become President but I do hope and believe that President- elect Barack Obama will do the right thing in defending Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in the years to come. I echo President Valdis Zatlers comments in congratulating the new President -elect. He has truly achieved a remarkable and notable, historical victory that children will read about in history books for years to come. It became quite obvious when Barack Obama addressed the Democratic Convention in 2004 that he was going to become a shining light in the Democratic Party. Even then, his rhetoric was filled with soaring expectations, filled with hope for a better future for all Americans. His journey was long and not easy. I do hope that his past associations with nefarious persons are history and do not represent his current ideology. It is hoped that focus on those relationships to the degree that they were during the election, was just a lot of political posturing.It seems that the whole of Europe is enamored by Barack Obama and the hope is that this trust is not misplaced. In addition to guarding the security of America and Americans, the President of the United States has always, in recent modern times been a proponent of freedom and liberty for all as established in the United Nations Charter. May God guide this young man in his extremely onerous, new role as leader of the free world.

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