Latvia and Israel share views and cooperation opportunities in defence, said Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis during his working visit to Israel.
On 6 March, Bergmanis met with Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman and visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem.
Both defence ministers and delegations discussed challenges of the current international security situation, focusing on the Baltic region and the Middle East. The ministers agreed that international regional security and engagement of countries in strengthening security is vital, and international coalition for the fight against terrorism is a good example of that.
The Israeli minister underscored that one of the directions for Israel is strengthening bilateral relations with the Baltic states and the EU in general, therefore Bergmanis’ visit to Israel is a good chance to evaluate the performance and find new cooperation directions for the future.
"Israel is one of the excellent examples for engagement of the society in development and strengthening of the state defence capabilities. It is also important for Latvia to engage broader society to strengthen our confidence that we are willing and able to defend our country if needed," said Bergmanis.
Bergmanis informed his colleague about budget financing for defense and the planned increase. He also underscored that cybersecurity is as important as security in the airspace, on water or land. This is one of the possible cooperation directions between both countries.
Latvian Defence Minister began his three day working visit to Israel on 5 March when he met with representatives of the military industry’s small and medium-sized enterprises, visited the control center of Israel Aerospace Industries and learned about the industry’s main development direction, as well as visited a military base.
Since Israel is one of the world’s cybersecurity leaders, Bermanis’ talks on the first day of this visit focused on cybersecurity issues, as well as the development and usage of drone technology not only for military purposes but also in civil defense and search operations.
On 6 January, 25 years passed since Latvia and Israel established bilateral relations. Israel is Latvia’s 40th largest trade partners. There are more than 8,500 residents of Jewish origin living in Latvia, while 3,500 Latvian nationals are living in Israel.