Remarks by Ambassador Pettit at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Riga Regional District Ambulance Support Station ‘Centrs’ Vehicle Maintenance Garage

Distinguished guests and friends; it is an honor to be here with you today.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak as we celebrate the completed construction of this vehicle maintenance garage for the State Emergency Medical Service’s Riga Regional District Ambulance Support Station “Centrs.”

The United States is proud of the fact that we were able to contribute more than 200,000 Euros to make emergency response faster and more effective here in Riga.

I would like to thank SIA “Velve-AE” – the company selected through the competitive bidding process – for constructing this modern vehicle maintenance garage for emergency vehicles.  This new facility will enhance the State Emergency Medical Service’s ability to provide essential services to the more than 129,000 people in its area of responsibility.

Earlier this summer, we celebrated the completion of another of our civic engagement projects at the District Ambulance Support Station ‘Krasts’ in Riga.  This project is already the third we have done with the State Emergency Medical Service, and we will continue looking for additional opportunities to work together in the future.

A few months ago we inserted various items and a message for future generations in a time capsule we placed in the foundation of this building.  We hope that our message will send a clear message both now and in the future of the United States’ enduring commitment to its relationship with the Latvian people.

Latvia and the United States are strategic partners, trusted allies, and close friends.  We have stood with Latvia since your independence in 1918.  Together, we have worked to build a strong bilateral relationship based on a shared commitment to national freedom, economic development, and a more secure world.  We remain steadfastly committed to the safety and security of the people of Latvia and the United States.

Our U.S European Command’s Civic Engagement program continues to be one of the best examples of this strong U.S.-Latvian partnership.  Our Office of Defense Cooperation works closely with our Latvian partners and has implemented several infrastructure development projects throughout Latvia.  Over the past eight years, the United States has completed many projects that improve Latvia’s emergency and fire and rescue service’s infrastructure and their ability to care for Latvia’s most valuable asset – its people.  These projects are completed with the cooperation and joint planning of Latvia and use local vendors.  These U.S.-supported projects provided over $5.2 million in direct investment to the local economy through the use of Latvian companies and suppliers.

In addition to the State Emergency Medical Service, our Office of Defense Cooperation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are also working with the State Fire and Rescue Service to complete renovation projects in Valmiera and Jelgava. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is also currently working on the renovation of the Jekabpils Fire Station.

The United States of America is extremely proud to partner with Latvia on these projects.  We look forward to our continued partnership in the years to come and to continuing to be part of Latvia’s bright future.

Vēlreiz vēlos ikvienam no Jums pateikties, ka esat šeit.   Liels Paldies.