Baltic News Network

Ilves urges to celebrate things uniting Latvia and Estonia on centenary

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The ex-President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, has congratula­ted Latvia on the 100th anniversar­y of its statehood and urged to look back at the historical ups and downs experience­d by Estonians and Latvians since the Middle Ages that have united the two peoples.

In a statement published in English by Estonia public broadcaste­r ERR, Ilves wrote: «There are few peoples with ties are as strong as those between Estonia and Latvia. The roots of the ties which enmesh us may be harsh, but together they create an enduring bond.

Livonia intertwine­d the destinies of both Estonia and Latvia for some eight centuries. We are different peoples, but we are both Livonians. Our spiritual closeness finds its expression in a similar world view, a common history, similar political and economic challenges, and also a common treasury of folk proverbs and sayings, shaped by our perception­s.» «We have also been fellow travellers in our recent history. Together we fought for freedom, together we lost it, and regained it together too. We joined the EU and NATO together.»

«Crises come and go, but neighbours remain. Knowing we have a neighbour who shares our values and supports us is a great confidence boost in foreign policy, for instance.»

«Today, with the 100th anniversar­y of the birth of the Republic of Latvia, there is every reason to celebrate all that unites Estonia and Latvia, uniting as both as citizens and as people.

Happy birthday, Latvia! Forward, together.»

 ?? AFP/SCANPIX ??
AFP/SCANPIX

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