Fw: VPotus Pool Report #6 Latvia

From: Barbara Plett-INTERNET
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 14:24
To: Goodman, Meghan Hays K. EOP/OVP
Cc: Karen DeYoung
Subject: VPotus Pool Report #6 Latvia

03.23.16: Baltic States welcome NATO & US Commitment to their Security
(continues on from Pool Report #5 below)

President Raimonds Vejonis of Latvia (paraphrase of translation)
He opened the remarks by welcoming VPotus and the other Baltic Presidents. He said it was a significant day for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Because on this day in 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union signed their non aggression pact which divided their territory into spheres of influence. It was the day the Baltic States were occupied, he said
It was also a time when the Baltic States were able to unite in the Baltic Way (ie in 1989). More than 2 million people created a live cue…to prove that they wished to be free and independent again. And it’s been 6 weeks since the summit in Warsaw where significant decisions were made, the main objective of which was to strengthen the security and defense of the Baltic States

President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves
I think at this time it’s clear that we in Europe, in the United States, in North America show that our resolve is strong and we will continue to stand for the common values that we share: freedom, rule of law, democracy, and we will stand up for it where we need to defend it, be it against Terrorism or be it against Aggression. We have a common resolve to stand for our values and do it wherever necessary by whtever means it takes and for us we have never doubted in Article 5

President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite
We are happy to meet today in Riga in the center of our Baltic region where exactly the day Baltic Way happened, and it is very symbolic that on this day we have with us the Vice President of the United States. And it is important for us that we are ready all parties to confirm our strategic partnership which is already long lasting and we are sure that no matter what (…unclear word) will be after the elections in the United States, the commitment of this country to NATO and to Baltic regions, will stay; and the details we are going to discuss about how we’re going to improve our regional defense, security and deterrence and how the United States will (…unclear word) where it can in addition to NATO participate in securing our region, it is important for the day. But now we are happy, we are ready to confirm our strategic partnership, that is the message we can pass to all the people

Barbara Plett Usher

From: Barbara Plett >
Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 7:05 AM
To: Meghan Goodman >
Cc: Karen DeYoung >
Subject: VPotus Pool Report #5 Latvia

03.23.16: Biden Affirms US Commitment to NATO and Article 5

The presidents of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia held a ‘family photo’ with VPotus, standing in front of their respective flags, before beginning a working dinner. The event is taking place on the 27th anniversary of the Baltic Way, when people from all three states joined hands across borders to show their desire for independence from the Soviet Union

Mr Biden used the occasion to strongly declare the USA’s commitment to NATO, especially Article 5, despite what 'a presidential candidate' might be saying. Here are his remarks, the others will follow:

VPotus: This is an historic day, I can remember being a young senator and watching my colleagues react as I did and seeing people lining up holding hands – the Baltic Way. It was an electrifying moment and there’s been so much progress made since that time.

I’m here looking forward to discussing the details of decisions taken in Warsaw, also economic issues. But I want to make it clear, absolutely clear to all the people of the Baltic States, we have pledged our sacred honour, the United States of America, our sacred honour to the NATO Treaty and Article 5. We mean what we say, we have never reneged on any commitment we have made, our sacred honour is at stake; the fact that you occasionally hear something from a presidential candidate (..unclear word) it’s nothing that should be taken seriously, because I don’t think he understands what Article 5 is. And, but there is continued overwhelming bipartisan agreement in the United States of America, in both political parties to maintain our commitment to NATO, we reaffirmed that in Warsaw, and the concern that the US is somehow disengaged (…unclear word) is simply not true. As a matter of fact our presence will be enhanced, there will be more NATO partners on the Russian border, there will be more than a single tripwire. We are absolutely thoroughly 100% committed to our NATO obligation including and especially to Article 5

Barbara Plett Usher

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