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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

UAE embassy in Latvia to blaze trail for Arab states

The UAE will be the first Arab country to open an embassy in the Baltic region in the next few years, said Latvia’s deputy prime minister, during his first visit to the country on Monday.

DUBAI // The UAE will be the first Arab country to open an embassy in the Baltic region in the next few years, said Latvia’s deputy prime minister, during his first visit to the country on Monday.

Arvils Aseradens, who is also the minister of economy, said the diplomatic mission would be one of many issues to be dealt with by a UAE-Latvian economic committee, expected to be formed in Riga next year.

“Latvia has full intentions of increasing cooperation between the Baltic area and the Gulf,” Mr Aseradens said.

“The purpose of my visit here is the signing of an economic cooperation agreement between Latvia and the UAE with the Ministry of Economy on Sunday.”

He met officials including Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

“I heard a lot about the UAE before and was positively surprised when I arrived,” Mr Aseradens said. “When I saw the developments here I was very surprised.

“Every meeting surprised me with structured approaches, ideas, a vision and I am very happy to be here as I got a lot of impressions for developments for my country.”

He also met James Hogan, chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, to discuss direct flights between Riga and Abu Dhabi, expected to start at least a year from now.

“We tried it last year and it was successful but it stopped,” Mr Aseradens said. “We’d like to establish it again, it’s five and a half hours, and we got positive feedback from Etihad.”

The Latvian embassy in Abu Dhabi opened two years ago, and the country has 500 of its citizens in the UAE.

cmalek@thenational.ae