European Neighborhood Policy must remain a priority regarding EU's foreign affairs – Rinkevics (Latvia News Agency)

RIGA, April 13 (LETA) – The European Neighborhood Policy must remain a priority regarding the EU’s foreign affairs, it must be united and have a long-term strategy, this according to Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) during today’s informal ministerial meeting on the future of the European Neighborhood Policy.

The Foreign Ministry informed LETA that Rinkevics is certain that the goals of the European Neighborhood Policy require no fundamental changes, as they are up-to-date, however, the current situation demands it to be more specific in order to better comply with the interests of the EU and its partners.

The minister also said that the EU must establish a closer cooperation with its southern neighbors in order to counter terrorism, as well as solve crises in the east and south. The minister also urged to hold informal EU ministerial meetings more often, thus, facilitating a more active dialogue on the joint challenges in the region.

Rinkevics emphasized that Latvia and the EU are in favor of the Union’s involvement in the southern region within the context of the neighborhood policy, in order to facilitate the development of a stable and safe region, which is based on democracy, rule of law, and human rights.

The European Neighborhood Policy was adopted in 2004. It is based on the values of democracy, rule of law, and respect of human rights.

The Policy focuses on the following countries: Armenia, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, the Palestinian National Authority, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine.