The Latvian ambassador to Hungary

Terrorist attack modifies EU Presidency agenda

January 9, 2015

The extremist Islamic terrorist attack in Paris in early January changed the preset agenda of the Latvian Presidency of the European Council, the Latvian Ambassador to Hungary Imants Liegis said at a press conference about the program of the Latvian Presidency in Budapest this Friday.

“Every Presidency has to deal with unexpected surprises.” Unfortunately, this remark by the Latvian Ambassador to Hungary, Imants Liegis in the January issue of Diplomacy & Trade came to be true tragically soon as the extremist Islamic terrorist attack in France in early January changed the preset agenda of the Latvian Presidency of the European Council.

At the press conference outlining the program of his country’s EU Presidency (the first one by Latvia), the Ambassador offered his condolences to the victims of the tragic events in France and pointed out that the protection of fundamental values like that of the freedom of expression continue to be among the priorities of the European Union.

At the initiative of the Latvian Presidency, ministers for culture of all the 28 Member States of the European Union have issued a joint statement to “condemn this senseless barbarity, which attempts to undermine our essential values in the most violent way.” The document states that the terrorists intended "to restrict the freedom to think, to speak and to create. These freedoms are core values of European democracy. They are universal democratic values.”

Ambassador Liegis stressed that the Latvian Presidency would deal with these issues at several events, for instance, at a conference on the freedom of the press in the Latvian capital, Riga in early May.


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