Riga [Latvia], July 10 (ANI): Edgar Rinkevics, 49, has been sworn in as Latvia’s first openly gay head of state, and the first openly gay president of an EU member state, reported Deutsche Welle (DW).
Rinkevics vowed to uphold Latvia’s support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, as he was sworn in as president.
“Russia’s war and genocide in Ukraine have created a new, harsh reality,” the German news agency DPA quoted Rinkevics as saying. He warned of the threats of “imperial Russia and the [Belarus leader Alexander] Lukashenko regime” against the region, Europe and the whole world, as per DW.
Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international broadcaster and media outlet.
The speech of the former foreign minister came days before the NATO summit in Vilnius.
“Latvia will stand for a strong and effective NATO, the European Union, a law-based international order and close cooperation with our friends and allies,” he said.
The 49-year-old has held the highest diplomatic position for Latvia since 2011 and has long backed Ukraine against Russian aggression, as per DW.
After his predecessor, Egils Levits, opted not to seek re-election, the parliament elected Rinkevics to the mostly ceremonial position of president in May.
He is now the first openly gay president of an EU member state and the first head of state of Latvia.
After being sworn in, Rinkevics gave a speech in which he vowed to work for inclusiveness and equality in Latvia.
“Every person in Latvia, its citizens, must feel that they belong, legally protected and safe,” the new president said, DW reported. (ANI)
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