Clinton urges Latvia to resolve restitution issue

NEW YORK (JTA) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Latvia to resolve issues related to restitution of Jewish property.

On a visit to the Baltic nation, Clinton said that the U.S. supports restitution or compensation for those whose property was seized by the Nazis or communists. She also acknowledged the Lithuanian government’s attempts to address the issue, Reuters reported.

"We think that resolving these issues quickly and fairly is in everyone’s interest and we hope that the process … will be able to move forward and that this issue about communal property restitution can be addressed as soon as possible because it is a piece of unfinished historical business," Clinton said Thursday, according to Reuters.

Latvia’s foreign minister, Edgars Rinkevics, said there is a good dialogue with the Jewish community but that it is necessary “to exercise extra caution” on the issue, “due to historical considerations,” Reuters reported.

Last week, the minister of justice, who is a member of a nationalist party that is a partner in Latvia’s center-right coalition government, resigned over restitution, arguing that the prime minister was pushing too hard on the issue.

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