HRH the Grand Duke is making this state visit on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Latvia and Luxembourg which were celebrated last year. The strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries dates back 30 years, with the de jure recognition of Latvia by Luxembourg and the reestablishment of diplomatic relations following the restoration of Latvian independence in 1991. The Director of the National Library of Latvia, Andris Vilks, will welcome HRH the Grand Duke and Ministers Jean Asselborn and Franz Fayot. A book handover ceremony will take place as part of the “People’s Library” project, initiated by the National Library of Latvia to enrich its collection with donations of personalised books. During this ceremony, HRH the Grand Duke will hand over a book about Luxembourg to the Director in the presence of the President of Latvia. The delegation will also have the opportunity to admire the architecture of the building and be introduced to the Cabinet of Folk Songs (Dainu skapis), which is listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.
Monday 13 March 2023
A gala dinner hosted by the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, in honour of HRH the Grand Duke at Riga Castle will conclude the first day of the state visit.
Afterwards, Franz Fayot will have a bilateral meeting with his Latvian counterpart Ilze Indriksone. Discussions will focus on current developments and challenges in European and international economic policy. The state visit will conclude with a dinner reception at the Latvian National Museum of Art hosted by HRH the Grand Duke in honour of the President of the Republic of Latvia. For his part, Minister Jean Asselborn will have a bilateral meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Edgars Rinkēvičs, at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Discussions will focus on bilateral relations and their development prospects, Russia’s war against Ukraine, as well as the major issues of European and international politics. The cultural programme of the state visit includes a guided tour of the Latvian National Museum of Art as well as a walk through the Old Town and Riga’s Art Nouveau district. This distinctive architectural style accounts for around a third of all buildings in the city centre, making the Latvian capital the city with the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. In the early afternoon, HRH the Grand Duke and the delegation, accompanied by President Egils Levits, will visit the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia, where they will be welcomed by the Director, Solvita Vība, for a guided tour. This museum, specifically dedicated to the history of the occupation of Latvia between 1940 and 1991, aims to honour the Latvians killed, deported or forced to seek refuge outside their homeland during this period.
The Luxembourg Head of State and Minister Jean Asselborn will then be received by the President of Latvia and the First Lady Andra Levite, for a private lunch at the presidential couple’s summer residence in Jūrmala. Pressrelease by the Information and Press Service Upon arrival in the Latvian capital, HRH the Grand Duke and the delegation will be officially welcomed at Riga Castle by the President of the Republic of Latvia, Egils Levits. The castle is the official residence of the President and was built in 1330 by the Livonian Order. The former outer castle, built in the 16th century, has housed the President’s offices since 1995.
Tuesday 14 March 2023
As part of the economic programme, HRH the Grand Duke and Minister Franz Fayot, accompanied by the Latvian President, will visit the headquarters of Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT), an innovative telecommunications company. They will attend presentations of new technologies, current projects and solutions offered by three companies active in the field of information and communication technologies: LMT, Lightspace Technologies and MikroTik. The Latvia-Luxembourg Business Forum, which will take place in the morning of 14 March in the presence of HRH the Grand Duke and the President of Latvia, will provide an excellent opportunity to identify areas for future cooperation. Keynote speeches will be delivered by the Luxembourg Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot and Latvian Minister of Economics Ilze Indriksone. The Forum will be followed by meetings and individual exchanges between Luxembourg and Latvian companies, as well as workshops on wood and sustainable construction. For their part, HRH the Grand Duke and Jean Asselborn will visit the National Rehabilitation Centre Vaivari in Jūrmala, where they will be welcomed by the Chair of the Board of Directors, Margarita Epermane. The National Rehabilitation Centre Vaivari, which currently hosts several patients from Ukraine due to the cooperation on health care between the two countries, is a specialised medical institution offering a wide range of rehabilitation services, both inpatient and outpatient. It is the largest institution for medical functional rehabilitation, health and social care, education, training and scientific research in Latvia. On the second day of the state visit, an economic programme will be organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in close cooperation with the Ministry of the Economy of Luxembourg, Luxinnovation and the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA). Trade and economic relations between Luxembourg and Latvia have a strong potential for development, especially in the fields of digital and green economy. The agenda also includes a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, Krišjānis Kariņš, at the Palace of Justice in Riga, the seat of the government of the Republic of Latvia. The Head of State will be accompanied by an economic delegation made up of representatives of promising sectors of the Luxembourg economy (digital economy, sustainability, wood industry).
HRH the Grand Duke, accompanied by the official delegation, and the President of Latvia will then lay a wreath at the Freedom Monument. This monument was erected in honour of the soldiers who died in combat during the Latvian War of Independence from 1918 to 1920. The memorial was inaugurated on 18 November 1935 and is considered an important symbol of Latvia’s freedom, independence and sovereignty. The Luxembourg Head of State, accompanied by Ministers Jean Asselborn and Franz Fayot, will be welcomed by the President of the XIV Saeima, Edvards Smiltēns, at the seat of the Saeima, the Parliament of the Republic of Latvia. The visit to the plenary hall of the Parliament will be followed by a lunch hosted by the President of the Saeima in honour of the Luxembourg delegation. After the playing of the national anthems, the Luxembourg Head of State will review the guard of honour in the outer courtyard of the castle. The ceremony will be followed by an exchange of gifts and honorific distinctions, a one-to-one meeting between the Heads of State, and a working meeting extended to the delegations, which will also be attended by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, the Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, and the Latvian Minister of Economics, Ilze Indriksone.