L. Linkevičius discussed the status of Lithuanian immigrants with the new Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom
On 18 July, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met the new Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson at the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union held in Brussels.
At the meeting, the UK Foreign Secretary said that the British had expressed their will at the referendum and that it had to be respected and implemented. However, this does not imply in any way that the United Kingdom is leaving Europe. “We are Europeans. Many British live in Europe. Hence, we are leaving the European Union, but not Europe itself”, – said Mr Johnson.
Mr Linkevičius underlined that Lithuania will seek to maintain friendly and close bilateral relations with the United Kingdom in security, defence, economy and other areas. “I hope that this cooperation between us will continue to be strengthened. I am delighted to have heard of the wish to keep Lithuania as a partner and a friend as close as possible from the new Secretary of the United Kingdom “, – said Mr Linkevičius.
The Lithuanian Minister has drawn attention to the attacks against Lithuanian citizens in the United Kingdom that have recently exacerbated and has encouraged principled fight against potential manifestations of hatred. Mr Linkevičius has also brought up the issue of the future perspectives of Lithuanian citizens resident in the United Kingdom.
The Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom has stated that any hatred offences will be taken very seriously and stopped by all means. According to Mr Johnson, Lithuanians and immigrants from other countries are an important and respected part of the society in the United Kingdom.
Mr Johnson’s great-grandfather originated from Lithuania. Hence, having received an invitation to visit his ancestral land from Mr Linkevičius, he accepted it with delight.