Houssam Abou Merhi, originally from Lebanon, a well-known gastroenterologist and endoscopy specialist in Latvia and a prominent politician from the Unity party, leader of the Arabic Culture Center, one of active members of Latvian Anna Lindh Foundation Latvian Network, has been elected to Saeima, the Latvian Parliament in the end of 2022 already second time. Since then he has been active in supporting efforts of Latvian civil society developing collaboration within the EuroMed region.
As a part of his activities Houssam Abou Merhi has initiated, established and became leader for several groups to strengthen interparliamentary cooperation, and in particular, the Group for Collaboration with the Parliament of Lebanon in January 2023 with 20 Members of the Parliament, the Group for Collaboration with the Parliament of Morocco in March with 13 MPs, and Group for Collaboration with the Parliament of Egypt in April this year with 12 out of 100 MPs. These groups are representing both position and opposition politicians, female and male Parlament Members, so there are expectations for expanding cooperation in education, culture and sustainable development in the region.
Houssam Abou Merhi has been also appointed by the Latvian Parliament as Head of delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Meditterranian.
The Latvian Anna Lindh Network has been collaborating with Egyptian Anna Lindh Network closely for the last few years, with special support of former Ambassador of Republic of Latvia to Egypt Arab Republic H.E. Ms. Iveta Šulca, and now by H.E. Mr. Ilmārs Breidaks resulting in several successful exchanges and projects. It is feasible that the collaboration between parliaments and support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs will help Latvian civil society and universities to facilitate more activities with Lebanon and Morocco.