On September 18 in Vilnius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Audronius Ažubalis held a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Zalmai Rassoul. At the meeting, the Ministers discussed ways of further expanding bilateral political and economic relations, prospects for development cooperation, the security situation in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries.
At the beginning of the meeting, Ažubalis expressed condolences over the death of twelve people, who were killed in an explosion near Kabul on 18 September.
According to Ažubalis, the cooperation between Lithuania and Afghanistan intensifies. Having launched large scale projects and made a relatively humble financial contribution, Lithuania managed to rally support of donor countries for the implementation of many important projects in the province of Ghor that made the daily life of the Afghan people easier. For example, we could enumerate such projects as the construction of a child day care centre, pavement of streets in Chaghcharan, the reconstruction of a runway at the airport, etc. The Minister said that Lithuania will continue to provide support for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Besides, Lithuania promotes the transfer of responsibility for security to the Afghan National Security Forces and activities aimed at ensuring security in Afghanistan.
Ažubalis called for intensified dialogue between Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries. He noted that Lithuania was ready to share its experience of practical regional cooperation with the Baltic and Nordic countries.
The Ministers welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Lithuanian and Afghan Ministries of Foreign Affairs, which provides a basis for strengthened bilateral political cooperation.
The Afghan Foreign Minister said that in addition to the previously mentioned fields of cooperation it was very important to speak also about the Lithuania-Afghanistan economic cooperation.
Rassoul also shared his thoughts about his meeting with the representatives from the Baltic Aviation Academy, where Afghan civil aviation pilots are trained.
On 19 September in Vilnius, Rassoul is participating in the international conference “Afghanistan and the region: practical approach for sustainable development”.
Lithuania and Afghanistan established diplomatic relations on 31 March 2005.