Lietuva in brief - 2007-10-10

  • 2007-10-10
Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said Russian President Vladimir Putin is aiming to downplay the Oct. 10-11 Vilnius Energy Security Conference by inviting his French counterpart to Moscow. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice canceled their invitations to the energy conference due to travel plans in Russia. The energy conference will be attended by scores of state leaders, other top-ranking politicians, prominent experts and company representatives. Putin ignored the invitation to participate in the event, but instead delegated Ambassador Boris Tsepov. Among the participants are the presidents of Poland, Georgia and Ukraine.

Muslims said they are outraged by accusations from Lithuania's special services that terrorists are hiding in the country. A LNK television program on Oct. 6 focused on an investigation by authorities in April. According to the TV report, state authorities said the Tablighi Jamaat religious organization could be spreading the Islamic religion in Lithuania as a way to conceal potential terrorists. Four small Muslim mosques operate in Kaunas, Vilnius and Alytus. The imam of the Kaunas mosque Romas Jakubauskas told the Kauno Diena newspaper the Tablighi Jamaat organization has frequent travelers to and from Lithuania, describing it as missionary work. The Muslim population in Lithuania is about 3,000 people. Most Lithuanian converts to Islam are women who marry Muslims and live abroad.