Click to enlargepadLatvian NATO Efforts Chronicled in Newly-Published Book

JBANC PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
March 3, 2006
contact: Karl Altau (tel. 301-340-1954)

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- A copy of the just-published book documenting Latvia’s efforts to join NATO was presented to Edgars Rinkevics, the State Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Defense, on March 1 at the opening of the new Latvian Embassy in Washington, DC.

Entitled “The Campaign to Admit Latvia into NATO,” the book was published by the World Federation of Free Latvians on the initiative of its president Janis Kukainis, who made the formal presentation. Mr. Kukainis earlier served as president of the American Latvian Association (ALA) and the Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC).

The book is composed of two primary sections, the first being a comprehensive overview of the history of the Baltic countries joining NATO, written by the current Latvian NATO ambassador Janis Eichmanis, who earlier served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of that country’s embassy in the United States. The second part is a chronology of noteworthy events during the campaign and related documents, compiled the by book’s editors, Anita Terauds and Karl Altau, JBANC’s Managing Director. Mrs. Terauds was the Secretary General of ALA from 1974-1998.

"The Campaign to Admit Latvia Into NATO" chronicles the dedicated work from 1991-2004 of not just Latvia, the United States, and other allies, but of the Baltic-American community, particularly the Latvian-American community and its organizations, to support the aim of NATO membership for Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. The three countries joined NATO in 2004.

The next NATO Summit will be held in Riga, Latvia on November 28-29, 2006.

Following the presentation of the book to Mr. Rinkevics, an official opening ceremony for the new Embassy of Latvia was held. Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvian Ambassador Maris Riekstins, Washington, DC Mayor Anthony Williams, and ALA President Martins Duhms presided over the ceremony, which was attended by about 150 guests.

President Vike-Freiberga is on a trip to the United States, visiting U.S. government officials, members of Congress, and is the guest of honor and keynote speaker at the U.S.-Baltic Foundation’s gala event in Washington, DC on March 4.

Caption: Karl Altau, Edgars Rinkevics, Anita Terauds, Janis Kukainis at the Latvian Embassy on March 1, 2006 (photo by Raits Eglitis, ALA).

JBANC represents the Estonian American National Council, Inc., the American Latvian Association, Inc. and the Lithuanian American Council, Inc.

Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
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