Lietuva in brief - 2009-04-08

  • 2009-04-08
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov have met with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Vygaudas Usackas, who is paying an official visit to Azerbaijan. The meetings covered development possibilities of bilateral relations, the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative, important issues of energy security, as well as regional and international policy. Usackas encouraged Azerbaijan to actively use the new EU Eastern Partnership Initiative and to continue implementing reforms in the country. "We are prepared to help you to benefit from the advantages of the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative, seeking  free trade with the EU and a facilitated visa-free regime between the EU and Azerbaijan. Lithuania is prepared to share its experience in implementation of reforms," Usackas said. The Lithuanian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers signed a memorandum between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries regarding a political dialogue and cooperation enhancement. The ministers also discussed possibilities to implement joint social and infrastructure projects in the Ghor Province of Afghanistan.

President Valdas Adamkus has taken part in an EU meeting in Prague that included U.S. President Barack Obama. Adamkus thanked the U.S. President for his position that NATO must have contingency plans in place to deal with new threats, wherever they may come from. Adamkus pointed out that this would make the security guarantees for Lithuania and the other Baltic States even stronger. It was underlined that the EU and the U.S. have to work together to revive the economy and strengthen energy security. In his assessment of the summit, Adamkus said that the focus on energy security was highly significant. In his opinion, the only way to effectively fight global challenges such as climate change or energy security is to streamline all and every effort. Adamkus emphasized that the European Union and the United States had to work even closer together in developing new sustainable ways of increasing the use of alternative and renewable energy resources. President Adamkus went on to say that if we wanted to ensure genuine energy security for the transatlantic community, we needed a new qualitative level of cooperation and a common transatlantic approach for the whole EU Eastern Neighborhood. He stressed that freedom and stability should not be taken for granted in the eastern part of the European Union. "But we can help consolidate it by linking Europe and the Black and Caspian Sea countries through concrete energy," Adamkus said. Adamkus pointed out that we could give a new impetus to strengthen energy cooperation and create more added value, but for that we need more regular consultations. The idea to establish a transatlantic energy council was worth considering.