The Chairman of the Board of CEEPS speaks at a conference dedicated to the Centenary of the Latvian Foreign Service

28.10.2019

cesis 2Latvia’s representatives gained their first diplomatic experience in extremely difficult circumstances – at the end of the First World War, along with the struggle for the proclamation of the State – emphasized Ainārs Lerhis, Chairman of the Board of the Centre for East European Policy Studies,  at a conference organized on Friday, October 25 in Cēsis to mark the 100th anniversary of the Latvian Foreign Service.

Lerhis pointed out that until the proclamation of the State (November 18, 1918), the “people’s diplomacy”, implemented by Latvian civic representatives, was replaced by “state diplomacy” after the declaration of the State. The first official foreign representatives were appointed who, under difficult circumstances, formulated and were able to defend the interests of the Latvian State. The peculiarity of the Latvian Foreign Service was that Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics began to organize it from London and later from Paris. The full operation of the Foreign Service can be talked about since the establishment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the second half of July 1919.

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The conference on the history of diplomacy was organized in memory of ongoings exactly hundred years ago, when in October – November 1919, due to the hostilities against Bermondt-Avalov Army, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other state institutions for several weeks partly operated not in Latvia’s capital Riga, but in another Latvian city – Cēsis. Speakers at the conference were Ainārs Lerhis, Chairman of the Centre for East European Policy Studies, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gints Apals and Tālis Pumpuriņš, Historian at the Cēsis Art and History Museum.

During the event, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, Chairman of the Cēsis Regional Council Janis Rozenbergs, along with other participants of the conference, also laid flowers at the Victory Monument in Vienības Square.

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Photo: Māris Buholcs , Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia