The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is in Latvia June 18 for a state visit that celebrates the centenary of Latvia's declaration of independence in 1918 just one year before Ireland made its own declaration of independence, reports.

The State Visit started with an official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Riga, after which President Higgins had a bilateral meeting with President Raimonds Vējonis. It is the first state visit by an Irish president to Latvia since 2007.

Vējonis stressed that Ireland has Latvia's full support in the European Union's negotiations with the United Kingdom over the contentious issue of how Brexit will affect the regulation of the Irish border with Northern Ireland. Latvia and Ireland are "of one mind" on the issue, Vējonis said.

"Both countries are interested in ensuring the rights of their citizens after the United Kingdom exits the European Union. Latvia shows solidarity and supports Ireland in its aspiration to prevent the establishment or building of a physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland," Vējonis said.

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