President Ilves left for a state visit to the Republic of Latvia
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Mrs. Evelin Ilves took a Edelaraudtee train to the Republic of Latvia this morning to begin a three-day state visit.
The diesel train that departed from Baltic Railway Station, Tallinn, at 7:53 will arrive in Riga at 13:32, after passing through Tartu and Valga. The President wishes to emphasise the special neighbour relations between Estonia and Latvia and also the importance of the Rail Baltica project, a rail link intended to start from Helsinki, pass through the Baltic states and Poland, and end in Berlin.
During the state visit, President Ilves will meet in Riga with the President of Latvia, Andris Bērziņš, the Head of Parliament, Solvita Aboltina, Prime Minister, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Mayor of Riga, Nils Ušakovs, open an Estonian-Latvian business forum, participate in a discussion of opinion leaders, visit an Estonian school in Riga and also visit areas inhabited by Livonians in Courland.
The Estonian Head of State will host a reception on a Tallinn ship, Silja Festival, which is travelling on the Riga-Stockholm line.
The President will be accompanied on his state visit to Latvia by an official delegation, consisting of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications, Juhan Parts; Head of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Riigikogu, Marko Mihkelson; chairwomen of the Estonian-Latvian parliament group, Mailis Reps; Commander of the Defence Forces, General Brigadier Riho Terras; professor of the University of Tartu, Mati Laur; and professor emeritus, Tiit-Rein Viitso; Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Toomas Luman; and Valga county governor, Margus Lepik. The Estonian Head of State is also accompanied by a 22-member business delegation.
Evelin Ilves will visit the Clinical Children's University Hospital in Riga, open-air museum of ethnography, textile design studio "Studio Natural", company "Grauda spēks", which works with natural food products, and "Madara Cosmetics", a producer of ecological cosmetics.
President Ilves and Mrs. Evelin Ilves will return to Estonia on the night of 8 June.
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