NATO Riga Summit News Digest. (large)

October 13, 2006

NATO Riga Summit News Digest is prepared in cooperation with Latvian Institute

Latvian mittens to warm 9,000 summit hands

Bringing the Riga Summit to other Latvian towns (quote)What will 9,000 hands have in common during the NATO Summit in Riga this November? 4,500 pairs of traditional hand-made Latvians mittens!
That’s what the NATO Summit Latvia Task Force is preparing for Summit guests. The mittens are being specially knitted by hundreds of women and men around the country ranging in age from 30 to 86. At least half of the mittens have already been produced, turning 190 kilos of Latvian wool into 2,250 pairs of traditional mittens steeped in Latvian folklore, customs and beliefs.

Thousands in Latvia volunteer to help with NATO Summit

Thousands in Latvia volunteer to help with NATO Summit (thumb)

With public support in Latvia for NATO reaching a record 78%, Latvian authorities assumed that local interest in the NATO Summit would be high. What they never expected was such a huge outpouring of volunteers eager to make the Riga Summit a success.
When the NATO Task Force announced that 600 volunteers would be needed to help with Summit-related activities, the public response was instant and enthusiastic - 2,361 people from across the country applied.

NATO Summit a public holiday for the people of Latvia

NATO Summit a public holiday for the people of Latvia (thumb)

Although NATO leaders are coming to Riga to work, for the people of Latvia that means a special holiday. The Latvian government has declared the two days of the Riga Summit – November 28 and 29 – as public holidays. Since these dates fall in the middle of the week on Tuesday and Wednesday, the government has asked offices to close on Monday, November 27th as well, but has designated the following Saturday, December 2 as a make-up day. As a result, the people of Latvia will have 5 free days leading up to and during the summit to do as they wish.

Bringing the Riga Summit to other Latvian towns

Bringing the Riga Summit to other Latvian towns (thumb)Just because the NATO Summit is taking place in Riga doesn’t mean people in other Latvian towns are being left out of the action. This summer volunteers from the Latvian Transatlantic Organization (LATO) set up information tents during festivals in many towns throughout the country. Visitors to the tents could learn about NATO,  NATO Riga Summit activities, and participate in a quiz to complete for prizes. The top prize – a flight in a hot-air balloon over Latvia – was the biggest draw.

Latvia’s soldiers get a ‘new look’

Latvia’s soldiers get a ‘new look’ (thumb)The women of Riga, famous for their fashion sense, are no longer the best dressed persons in Latvia. Latvia’s soldiers have received new, modern uniforms that are considered to be one of the most advanced in NATO

Utilizing new technologies, as well a special national design, the new uniforms are both practical and distinctive.

Latvia’s Parliament extends participation of Latvian National Armed Forces in Afghanistan

Latvia’s Parliament extends participation of Latvian National Armed Forces in Afghanistan (thumb)Last week Latvia’s Parliament extended the participation of Latvia’s National Armed Forces in the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan for another year – until October 13, 2007. Recent surveys show that 57.1% of Latvia’s population supports NATO involvement in international peace-keeping operations. There is also significant support for the participation of Latvian troops in international peace-keeping operations.

Quote

Catherine Todd Bailey

"One of the exciting elements of the summit will be the young leader’s forum, which will bring together young people from around the alliance and many of our partners to talk about how they can contribute to the values and goals of NATO

- Catherine Todd Bailey,
U.S. Ambassador to Latvia 

 

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