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Tuesday 21 June 2011
Senior Course 118 – Field Study III – Regional Approaches. Visit to Latvia
On 19 and 20th of June Senior Course 118 visited Latvia. Briefings were delivered in the splendid setting of the Great Hall of the Latvian War Museum. The Course was welcomed by Mr Janis Sarts, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia, who then delivered a presentation on Latvia’s national defence policy, the challenges it is facing and an overview of Baltic cooperation.
LtCol Ilmars Atis Lejins, Chief of the Planning Division of the Operative Planning Department (J-3/5/7) of the Joint Headquarters provided a very open explanation of the difficulties in developing Latvia’s defence programme, in a very difficult resource environment and of the current status.
H E Janis Eichmanis, Ambassador at Large of the Bureau of the Policy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained the context that influenced the development of Latvia’s foreign policy and the main factors that were driving its evolution.
Mr Imants Viesturs Liegis, Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Latvian Parliament and former Minster of Defence, concluded the session with a very clear explanation of Latvia’ defence priorities and of Latvia’s position on the Baltic region’s defence and security challenges.
At the end of the visit, the State Secretary Mr Janis Sarts generously hosted a lunch for the Course.