At the Lithuania-Turkey political consultations on 28 February in Ankara, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Vytautas Leškevičius, the Undersecretary of the Ministry for EU Affairs of Turkey Haluk Ilicak and Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey Hasan Göğüş discussed political, economic and cultural cooperation, joint activities in international organisations, and talks over Turkey’s European Union membership.
“Lithuania has consistently supported the EU’s enlargement policy and supports the European aspirations of Turkey. The renewed talks over Turkey’s European Union membership prove clearly that the two negotiating sides are ready to move towards a more intensive phase of constructive negotiations. Lithuania’s upcoming Presidency of the EU Council will dedicate considerable attention to Turkey’s accession negotiations,” Leškevičius said.
When speaking about bilateral economic relations, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs presented capabilities of Lithuania’s logistics industry and benefits of free trade zones. Leškevičius said that transport cooperation between Turkey and Lithuania was growing and called on Turkey to use the container train Viking to transport cargo to and from the Western European and Scandinavian markets.
During the conversation, the interlocutors noted that the Turkish Airlines would open the new Istanbul – Tallinn – Vilnius – Istanbul route on 11 June that would undoubtedly give a positive impetus to cooperation in the field of tourism and to business contacts.
During the meeting, attention was drawn to historical links between Lithuania and Turkey, and to possibilities to promote cultural and academic ties in the short run. The meeting also discussed important international policy issues, related to situations in Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Discussions on Lithuania and Turkey’s bilateral issues and on issues on the European and international agenda will be resumed in the beginning of April during the visit of the President of Turkey Abdullah Gül to Lithuania. The President will be accompanied by a delegation of Turkish businessmen.