Remarks by Ambassador Pettit at USS Mount Whitney Reception

Riga, July 5, 2016

Good afternoon, what a great day to be here in Latvia and to welcome the USS Mount Whitney to Rīga.

Generals, Admiral Vizulis, Mayors, distinguished guests, members of the Latvian-American community, thank you for taking the time to attend today’s reception. We are honored by your presence.

Captain Sardiello, thank you for your remarks, and to the Sailors of the USS Mount Whitney, thank you for such an impressive reception. It is a privilege to be here aboard with you.

This port visit serves to enhance U.S.-Latvian relations as our two nations work together for a stable, secure and prosperous Baltic region and Europe. The USS Mount Whitney’s presence in the Baltic Sea is a demonstration of our continued commitment to the collective security of NATO under Operation Atlantic Resolve.

No single nation can combat global threats alone. We must collectively work together to share information, share experiences, and work for regional stability. The Baltic region is important to us all, and we must remain committed to ensuring sea lanes remain open for global trade.

There is no problem too great and no contribution too small for the Global Network of Navies. Its success requires our collective participation. By pooling our resources together, we can overcome the challenges that threaten freedom and security in the global commons.

We share the same views as our NATO allies and European partners on the importance of maintaining the safety and security of the world’s oceans and sea lanes. Through strengthened relationships, we can expect an increase in peace and prosperity throughout the region.

As NATO allies, the strategic alliance between the U.S. and Latvia reflects our common understanding of the global security environment.

Port visits and training with the Latvian Navy strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and our allies and partners as we work toward mutual goals.

We stand here, side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, in solidarity, a reflection of a concrete commitment to our partnership and to our alliance.

To Latvia, we are proud to call you a partner, an ally, and a friend. This week’s visit of the USS Mount Whitney demonstrates our commitment to the alliance and to you.

To the crew of the USS Mount Whitney, welcome to Rīga and thank you for your service to our country and to our allies.

Thank you.