Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevicius arrived in Tbilisi on a two-day official visit on March 4. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the purpose of this visit is to discuss Lithuania’s bilateral relations with Georgia, the relations of these countries with the EU and to present plans and priorities of Lithuania’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of the year.
Lithuania Foreign Minister visits Georgia
By Ana Robakidze
Wednesday, March 6
Linas Linkevicius held meetings with President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on March 5.
The meeting with the Prime Minister at the governmental chancellery and the parties discussed future bilateral relations, Georgia's aspirations to become a member of NATO, as well as the current political situation in Georgia.
“We had a very friendly meeting... The interest of the Foreign Minister of Lithuania coincides with ours... Vilnius is the country that will be hosting the summit planned in autumn and Lithuania has an additional obligation that we get the maximum of what we strive for. He is informed about the issue of cohabitation that we have and we also received advice... Linkevicus will also meet the president and I have already consented to make our joint announcement,” Bidzina Ivanishvili said. The PM also thanked the guest for the support Lithuanian has been providing for many years now.
Ivanishvili assured the Lithuanian Foreign Minister that Georgia made a choice about its foreign policy and to become a full member of the European family many years ago. Linkevicus advised the PM and President to make a joints statement on the foreign policy of the country.
"We are grateful for the constructive meeting we had with the PM. Lithuania is a friend of Georgia from the very beginning of or independence and we will stand by in all situations, especially with regard to your choice for Euro-Atlantic integration." Linkevicus said after the meeting. He expressed his hope that the internal situation in the country will not hinder Georgia's progress on the way to Euro-Atlantic integration.
"We need positive signals from Georgia in order to make sure that the way towards Euro-Atlantic integration is irreversible, it is clear... I believe that all internal problems will be solved and the national interests will be put on the top of agenda." Lithuanian Foreign Minister said at the meeting with Saakashvili in the presidential palace.
After the meeting with Linkevicus, Saakashvili expressed his readiness to make a joint statement together with the PM and address NATO and the European Union with a formal letter confirming that Georgia is going to continue its path to Euro-Atlantic integration.
During his meetings Linkevicus mentioned several times that the European Union expects the president and Prime Minister of Georgia to do their utmost so that the cohabitation process progresses successfully.
After leaving Georgia, Linkevicus will continue his visits in Azerbaijan and Armenia.