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Collaboration at Christmas: Foreign Secretary signs Joint Declaration with Latvia ahead of tree-lighting ceremony

Press release

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss today (Monday 06 December) met her Latvian counterpart, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs to sign a Joint Declaration and attend the annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss today (Monday 06 December) met her Latvian counterpart, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, to sign a Joint Declaration forging stronger UK-Latvian trade and technology ties; and enhancing cooperation in tackling cyber-security issues, protecting democratic values and freedoms and tackling malign state threats.

After the signing, the two Foreign Ministers attended a tree-lighting ceremony at Lancaster House to officially switch-on the Christmas tree gifted to the UK by Latvia.

The ceremony was also marked by hymns from the London Latvian Choir.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:

As two nations protecting the frontier of Europe, the UK and Latvia are freedom-loving nations committed to defending democracy, human rights and the rule of law across the world.

This Declaration boosts an already strong relationship as we mark a centenary of diplomatic relations and Latvia celebrates 30 years of independence.

The UK and Latvia are increasingly the target of hybrid threats that aim to weaken our economies, democracies and social cohesion.

The Joint Statement sets out how, in defence of our values, the UK and Latvia will increase our deterrence and resilience capabilities to counter interference in our democracies, and protect against espionage, disinformation, and malicious cyber activity.

The UK and Latvia also committed to continue to build collective resilience against aggressive behaviour by Russia, Belarus and China.

This meeting follows the Foreign Secretary’s visit to Riga last week, where she met with European and NATO allies to discuss the UK’s enduring commitment to NATO; countering hybrid warfare like cyber and migration; and a collective response to Russian aggression.

Notes to Editors:

  • Pictures from the tree-lighting ceremony event are available on the UK Government Flickr page.

  • The Joint Declaration is available here.

Published 6 December 2021