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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

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Linas Linkevičius: Our policy towards Iran – European unity and sustainable transatlantic partnership

Created: 2018.05.29 / Updated: 2018.05.30 09:37
      Linas Linkevičius: Our policy towards Iran – European unity and sustainable transatlantic partnership
      Linas Linkevičius: Our policy towards Iran – European unity and sustainable transatlantic partnership

      On 28 May, Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, took part in a meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels. The foreign ministers of the EU Member States discussed Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Venezuela related matters, the situation in Gaza and a document to be designed as a substitute for the Cotonou Agreement.

      With reference to Iran, Linas Linkevičius noted that it is equally important to ensure European unity concerning the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to protect European economic interests and to maintain strong transatlantic partnership. “Even a negligent sign that could be interpreted as a weakening transatlantic tie would be harmful,”  Lithuanian Foreign Minister said

      The EU Members’ foreign ministers also discussed a possibility of imposing personal sanctions on several top Venezuelan officials, responsible for violations of human rights and democratic order, after the presidential election. Lithuania is keen on European unity and wishes to ensure the safety of its citizens in Venezuela in case of a crisis. The estimated number of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania in Venezuela is 178 while the Lithuanian community unites approximately 500 people.

      The ministers analysed what role the EU can play in looking for a settlement of a political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as tension mounts with general elections approaching at the end of this year. A new Cotonou agreement was another item discussed. The Cotonou Agreement sets forth relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and will expire in 2020. After a draft on the negotiating mandate is endorsed shortly, negotiations with the ACP countries are expected to open in late summer.

      In an informal debate, the ministers discussed the situation in the Middle East after riots at the Gaza border fuelled by relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which led to loss of human lives. The Ministers urged Israel to resist from unnecessary use of force during mass protests.

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      We, the Foreign Ministers of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the  Republic of Lithuania, Hungary, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic reiterate our continued support for the Western Balkans on their European path. The EU enlargement process has a positive transformative power in the Western Balkans and is an investment in peace and stability in Europe. It is essential to ensure the overall progress of the region. The EU needs to fulfil its unambiguous commitment to the Western Balkans European integration. There is no “plan B”.

      European Union » Speeches, Statements »

      On 28 September, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Albinas Zananavičius, paid a visit to Warsaw where he discussed on-going negotiations on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027), withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, energy projects in the Baltic region, and other key matters on the EU agenda with Konrad Szymański, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland.

      Bilateral Relations » European Union »

      On 4 July, Minister Linas Linkevičius met with the European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, in Vilnius to discuss the main Lithuanian interests in Brexit negotiations – Lithuanian citizens residing, working and studying in the United Kingdom should retain their rights and social guarantees, and the principles unifying the EU should stay in place. Lithuanian priorities in future EU-UK relations were discussed too.

      European Union »

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