时时彩大发彩神通自动投注官方Latvia marks 15th anniversary of NATO membership

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The NATO flag is raised during a ceremony in Riga, Latvia, March 29, 2019, to mark the 15th anniversary of the Baltic country's accession to NATO. (Xinhua/Edijs Palens)

RIGA, March 29 (Xinhua) -- A number of events were held in Riga and elsewhere in Latvia on Friday to mark the 15th anniversary of the Baltic country's accession to NATO, governmental spokespeople informed.

The Foreign Ministry noted that Latvia is celebrating its 15 years in the alliance as NATO marks its 70th anniversary in 2019.

Latvia, along with several other countries, including Baltic neighbors Estonia and Lithuania, joined NATO, by submitting accession documents in Washington on March 29, 1004.

In honor of that historic date, a ceremonial change of guard took place in the morning by Riga Castle, the official residence of the Latvian president, and the NATO flag was raised on one of the medieval castle's towers.

An exhibition, "15 Years of Latvia's NATO Membership", was unveiled at the Foreign Ministry on Friday, offering a display of the most important documents from the ministry's archives which chronicled Latvia's path to NATO, provided the timeline of key events leading up to Latvia's admission to NATO and followed Latvia's activities as a full member of the alliance.

"Since the restoration of independence, Latvia has sought to gain a foothold in the space of Euro-Atlantic values and security. And we have achieved that goal! This year marks the 15th anniversary of our membership in NATO. Latvia is an active and reliable NATO ally and fulfils the responsibilities incumbent upon it," said Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis called the joining of NATO 15 years ago Latvia's most important event since the restoration of independence.

"Today, we are stronger than we have ever been. Our allies -- NATO member states -- are standing together with our National Armed Forces for our country's security," the Latvian president said.