RIGA, Latvia — Continuing his outreach effort to establish close relationships with the leadership of NATO member and partner countries Navy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Adm. James Stavridis visited Latvia 13-14 July.
He met with Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Vladis Dombrovkis, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Aivis Ronis, Minister of Defense Mr. Imants Leigis and the Chief of Defense Maj. Gen. Raimonds Graube. The leaders discussed current operational issues and shared views on how to take the Alliance forward.
Stavridis expressed his current assessment of NATO's steps forward in Afghanistan and congratulated Latvia for the part it has played.
"I feel it very important to come here to say thank you for the tremendous contributions Latvia has made to NATO operations," said Stavridis.
He highlighted the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams in the East and North, and security forces supporting the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Meimanah.
"These are key to our success strategy, by teaming with the Afghans we will develop their capabilities and gradually transition the security responsibility for Afghanistan to national security forces that can protect the population and safeguard their nation," he added.
Stavridis also noted Latvian contributions to collective Alliance security by hosting many exercises in the Baltic region that enhance interoperability among various allies.
"Article 5 is and remains the bedrock of our Alliance," Stavridis concluded.