President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Lithuania supports international effort to secure peace in the Middle East

2018-08-24

Friday, August 24, Vilnius President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is on a visit to Lithuania. Relations between Israel and the European Union, Middle East peace process, global enhancement of peace and stability, and situation in Syria and Iran were discussed at the meeting.

The President underscored that Lithuania was interested in strengthening close political and economic relations with Israel, one of the most innovative and progressive state in the world. Lithuania is a firm supporter of dialogue between Israel and the European Union and welcomes the decision to reconvene the EU-Israel Association Council.

Unfortunately, the international community regards certain issues pertaining to relations with Israel as controversial. Lithuania consistently upholds position of the UN and the EU that peace in the Middle East can be assured only by way of negotiations when a decision based on coexistence of the two states is reached. The status of Jerusalem is an integral part of such two-state solution package.

The expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is yet another sensitive matter in EU-Israel relations. This violates international law and makes it difficult to reach peace. The European Union condemns such expansion.

The international community also urges both parties to stop violence in the Gaza Strip, respect the right to peaceful demonstrations, refrain from unproportioned use of force and observe international humanitarian law. 

At the meeting, destabilizing actions of Iran in the Middle East were also discussed. Lithuania supports EU’s position on the necessity to maintain Iran nuclear deal and condemns the ongoing development of ballistic missile program by Iran.

The President and the Prime Minister discussed bilateral cooperation in security and defense. This year, Israel took part in the military exercise “Saber Strike” in Lithuania for the first time. Since 1994, Israel has been actively involved in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue. Cooperation in cyber security is being strengthened.

Keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust victims, promoting Litvak’s culture and strengthening mutual relations were also on the agenda.

This year is very special for Israel as well as for Lithuania celebrating the Centennial of its statehood. Seventy years ago, the state of Israel was established.  On behalf of the Lithuanian people and on her own behalf, Dalia Grybauskaitė extended congratulations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on this jubilee.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.08.24 14:46

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