Linas Linkevičius: it is in our interest to maintain long-term strategic partnership between the EU and Turkey
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius attended the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) in the Maltese capital Valletta on 28 April 2017. The Ministers discussed developments in Turkey, challenges in the international order of rules, and implementation of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
During the debate on Turkey, Minister Linkevičius noted that Turkey was an important EU partner and NATO ally; that is why talking with it is a better option than widening a gap between the EU and Turkey.
“The situation continues to be tense in Turkey, society is divided, and there are a lot of internal and external tensions. Both parties must take measures to correct the situation,” Linas Linkevičius remarked.
The head of the Lithuanian foreign office expressed his hope that Turkey’s strategic orientation towards the EU will continue to be a priority while he invited his colleagues to remain united and talk to Turkey.
“Only direct ties, a direct dialogue can and must bring positions closer together. We should not forget that relations between the EU and Turkey as well as Turkey’s role in NATO are underpinned by many interests and a geopolitical factor which matters a lot, too. It is in our interest to maintain long-term strategic partnership with our geopolitically significant partner; therefore at this stage it is important to assess the expectations of both parties and to relieve tension,” Minister Linkevičius said.
On 21 September 2017 the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada entered into force provisionally. It is one of the most ambitious EU free trade agreements that will open the Canadian market with its population of 35 million to Lithuanian exporters.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, attended the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 July 2017 to take part in a debate on the EU Global Strategy on foreign and security policy, on North Korea, Libya, and migration.
On 15 July 2017, we mark the first anniversary of the failed coup attempt in Turkey that left a few hundreds dead and 2,000 injured. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania reiterates its solidarity with Turkey and its people, who gathered to defend their democratically elected government. Just as on the night a year ago, Lithuania expresses sincere condolences to the families of the victims and condemns the attempt upon democracy in Turkey that shocked the country and the whole international community.
The EU Foreign Affairs Council met in Luxembourg on 19 June 2017 to discuss the EU Global Strategy, EU-NATO cooperation, migration, Iraq, and counter-terrorism. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry was represented by Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darius Skusevičius.
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darius Skusevičius, attended the ministerial meeting of EU Member States and Eastern Partners on 19 June where discussions centred on the preparation for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels in November. Ministers of foreign affairs from EU Member States and Eastern Partnership countries discussed the achievements of the Eastern Partnership and agreed on short-term goals in developing relations between the EU and its partners in the east.
On January 23-24, the Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Albinas Zananavičius attended the informal meeting of the European Union General Affairs Council held in Valletta, Malta. During the meeting, the priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2017 were presented and the discussion of the ministers about the future of the EU in preparations to the meetings of the EU heads of state and government on February 3 in Malta and on March 25 in Rome was held.