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Minister of Foreign Affairs

Linas Linkevičius

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Vice-Minister Skusevičius: it is important to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation on security and defence

Created: 2017.06.20 / Updated: 2017.06.20 15:59
      Vice-Minister Skusevičius: it is important to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation on security and defence
      Vice-Minister Skusevičius: it is important to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation on security and defence

      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.

      During the discussion on the implementation of the EU Global Strategy, Darius Skusevičius expressed Lithuania’s support for closer cooperation among EU Members in the area of security and noted that new planned initiatives were aimed at strengthening EU solidarity and unity. “It is only by investing more into European security and defence that we can consolidate transatlantic solidarity and ensure more equal burden-sharing,” Vice-Minister Skusevičius said. When touching upon building of resilience, Darius Skusevičius pointed out that the focus should be on measures for building up resilience inside the EU, while close neighbourhood should be seen as an external priority.

      Vice-Minister Skusevičius emphasised his country’s support for further enhancement of cooperation between the EU and NATO and implementation of measures stipulated in the Joint Declaration of the Presidents of the European Council and Commission and the Secretary General of NATO. “We must think about expansion of EU-NATO cooperation areas now. Lithuania is interested in further enhancement of EU-NATO relationship in areas such as response to hybrid threats, stronger resilience, strategic communication and cyber security, and joint EU and NATO exercises,” Vice-Minister Skusevičius said.

      While discussing the crisis in relations between Qatar and other Gulf region countries, EU Member delegates underlined that the conflict might weaken international counter-ISIS efforts and affect anti-terrorist operations; therefore the EU was ready to mediate in resolving the conflict. The meeting also heard a debate about actions to counter and prevent terrorism; an agreement was reached concerning the necessity of a new strategy for Iraq after Da’esh; the fourth Progress Report on the Partnership Framework on Migration was discussed.

      Before the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, the representatives of the Member States met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze. At the meeting, Darius Skusevičius highlighted the necessity of EU’s financial and expert support to Georgia in its implementation of the Association Agreement and the importance for Georgia to strengthen pluralism of the media, to engage society in the process of constitutional reform, and respond in an appropriate manner to the recommendations by the Venice Commission. Vice-Minister Skusevičius urged EU Members to be more active in responding to creeping annexation of Georgian territories.

      When the FAC meeting finishes, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darius Skusevičius, will attend the meeting of foreign ministers of Eastern Partnership countries where preparation for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels on 24 November 2017 will be discussed.

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