Iceland Square Inaugurated in Riga Skip to content

Iceland Square Inaugurated in Riga

Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson attended the inauguration of the Iceland Square in Riga, Latvia’s capital, on Monday, along with his Latvian counterpart Girts Valdis Kristovskis.

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Skarphédinsson (left) and Kristovskis at the inauguration. Photo courtesy of the Latvian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

At the square a memorial was also unveiled to mark the occasion, commemorating Iceland as being the first country to acknowledge Latvia’s independence 20 years ago, a press release from Iceland’s Foreign Ministry reads.

In his speech, Kristovskis mentioned that no other streets or squares in Riga are named after other countries and so the naming of the square bears witness to the Latvian nation’s gratitude to the Icelandic nation for having broken the ice and paved the way for the country’s independence.

Skarphédinsson remarked that Icelanders are deeply honored. At the time they only did what they thought was right, wholeheartedly supporting the Baltic states’ right to independence. He added it is important for small nations to stick together.

On Sunday, Estonians celebrated 20 years of independence in Tallinn at a special Iceland Day where Skarphédinsson and other Icelandic officials were in attendance, including President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

The day is reported to have been a success and that Grímsson was welcomed “like a rock star,” as described on ruv.is.

Click here to read more about the festival in Tallinn.

ESA

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