Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Jan. 6 / Trend D. Azizov /
The Latvian Embassy in Uzbekistan has ceased to function as the local presidency of the European Union in Uzbekistan, as it starts working as a NATO contact embassy, the country's Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry further said that the Latvian Embassy, in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry of Belgium, was fulfilling the presidency of the European Union, as well as coordinated visits of the EU officials to Uzbekistan within the presidency last year.
A diplomatic mission organized meetings of ambassadors of the EU countries with Uzbek senior officials, as well as visits of senior officials from the EU countries, without diplomatic representations in Tashkent, to Uzbekistan.
Progress was made over the last period in relations between the EU and Uzbekistan, the Latvian Foreign Ministry said.
The meetings were held with ambassadors of the EU countries accredited in Uzbekistan, members of the consular services, economic diplomats and administrative staff.
As a representative of the EU, the Latvian Embassy in Uzbekistan has been coordinating the education initiative program within the EU strategy for Central Asia since 2008.
The Latvian Embassy in Uzbekistan has been given the charge to serve as the NATO contact embassy from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011.
The main task of the contact embassy is to inform NATO partner countries about the policy and goals of the alliance, and to promote stronger mutual contacts to strengthen relations.
Adopting new responsibilities demonstrates Latvia's intentions as a NATO member country, in order to support the policy with third countries, as well as the successful cooperation between Latvia and Uzbekistan, the Latvian Foreign Ministry said.
A network of the NATO contact embassies was formed in early 1990s to maintain a different format of the NATO partnership.
After joining NATO, Latvia has provided the contact embassies for alliance in Sweden from 2004-2006, Finland from 2007-2008 and Georgia from 2009-2010.