Lithuania is Georgia's friend, says Foreign Minister
By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, March 30A permanent council will be set up under the terms of the Georgia-Lithuania strategic partnership charter, the Georgian and Lithuanian Foreign Ministers said at a joint press conference on Monday. The two Ministers, Grigol Vashadze of Georgia and Audronius Azubalis of Lithuania, held an official meeting yesterday at which they discussed bilateral and multilateral relations and the importance of Lithuania’s support for Georgia’s integration with European and Euro-Atlantic structures, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported.
According to the Ministry, the permanent council will include three working groups. One will deal with the issues of Georgia’s European integration, the second will work on NATO integration and the third will focus on bilateral relations between Georgia and Lithuania. The commissions will be chaired by the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the two countries, the Georgian MFA said.
Lithuania will continue its non-recognition of Georgia’s breakaway regions, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Azubalis said at the press conference. “Lithuania is Georgia’s friend. We are moving towards success together. This is my fourth visit to Georgia and we will use this visit for strengthening mutual cooperation as well,” the Minister said, adding that at the meeting with his Georgian counterpart they had discussed the situations in Georgia and in the occupied territories. “We talked about how we should continue to pursue the non-recognition policy towards the breakaway regions of Georgia,” Azubalis said. Georgia’s strategy towards its occupied regions was also discussed at the meeting, said the Minister.
Vashadze and Azubalis expressed their condolences to the families of the victims of Monday’s terrorist attacks in Moscow metro stations. Georgian Foreign Minister Vashadze condemned terrorism and said that Georgia and Lithuania have always been against it. “In the name of Georgia and Lithuania I would like to express our condolences to the families of the deceased,” Vashadze noted. “We hope that the perpetrators of these terrorist attacks will be detained and duly punished in the near future,” the Minister added. He said that no citizens of Georgia had been injured in the incidents in Moscow.
Earlier, on March 27, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister had met Georgian Parliament Speaker Davit Bakradze. The sides had discussed deepening bilateral relations between the countries in different international formats and the participation of Lithuanian observers in the upcoming local elections in Georgia. Bakradze stressed the importance of Azubalis’s visit. “Through this visit to Georgia at the commencement of his term of office Audronius Azubalis demonstrates the priorities of his foreign policy. He is interested in intensifying relations between our countries and helping us integrate with NATO and restore our territorial integrity. His visit is a sign of the political significance conferred by Lithuania and the Minister personally on relations with Georgia as a strategic partner," the Georgian Parliament Speaker said.