|Press-communiqué of the Meeting of the Presidents of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania
Riga, December 15, 2000
The Presidents of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania met in Riga, in line with the regular practice of their consultations, which provide the framework for discussions on foreign policy issues, such as the enlargement of the European Union and NATO, the US-Baltic partnership, as well as regional and trilateral co-operation.
While discussing the EU enlargement, the Presidents welcomed the successful conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference on institutional reform at Nice and highlighted the role of the French Presidency in this respect.
The Presidents expressed the hope that Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania will participate in the next European Parliament elections in 2004.
The Presidents welcomed the initiative of the Union to encourage during the forthcoming Swedish and Belgian Presidencies a deeper and wider debate about the future development of the European Union by also involving the candidate countries. The Presidents expressed their support for the decision to invite candidate countries, which have concluded accession negotiations, to participate in the IGC in 2004 and to include those which have not yet done so as observers.
The Presidents reaffirmed the common security goal of the Baltic States: membership in NATO. In this respect the Presidents agreed to work together to promote support among the NATO members for inviting their countries to join the Alliance during the next summit.
They acknowledged the successful co-operation among nine NATO aspirants initiated during the Vilnius conference on May 19, 2000 and welcomed the upcoming meetings of the nine Prime Ministers in Bratislava in May, 2001 and of the nine Chiefs of Defence in Riga in June, 2001.
The Presidents welcomed the ongoing trilateral defence co-operation and acknowledged the importance of joint military projects that increase the national defence capacities and contribute to the Euro-Atlantic security.
The Presidents noted the substantial evolution that co-operation between Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and the United States has been experiencing since the Baltic-US Charter was signed in 1998. The Presidents took this opportunity to reiterate their appreciation of the significant contribution provided by the Current Administration in the elaboration and implementation of the Baltic-US Partnership Charter.
The Presidents were convinced that the Baltic-US Partnership Charter strengthens the US involvement in the Baltic region and Europe, which is of paramount importance to the goal of building Europe whole and free.
The Presidents expressed their commitment to working together with President Bush's Administration towards furthering their common goals, both in the framework of strengthening the Baltic-US Charter and as an integral part of the transatlantic integration process. They welcomed the commitment by President-elect George W. Bush for the continued enlargement of NATO and for the full integration of candidate countries in the economic, political and security institutions of the transatlantic community.
The Presidents reiterated the importance of a constructive dialogue with Russia in a businesslike spirit, based on a shared understanding of the pragmatic value of good neighbourly relations within the context of the euro-atlantic integration.
The Presidents welcomed the recent evolution in Nordic-Baltic co-operation, bringing it up to a new level of co-operation among 8 countries instead of the previous 5+3 framework.
The Presidents praised Sweden's initiative ''The Year of the Baltic States'' which provided a framework for the implementation of a serious of important and successful projects throughout the year 2000.
The Presidents decided to meet again in Tallinn, Estonia in the year of 2001.
back | archive of press releases | main page
© 2001 Office of the President of the Republic
Phone: +372 631 6202 | Fax: +372 631 6250 | firstname.lastname@example.org