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Lithuanian and Austrian Presidents discussed bilateral relations in trade, energy, culture, and other fields



Thursday, March 12, Vilnius - Yesterday evening (March 11), the Federal President of the Republic of Austria Mr. Heinz Fischer arrived in Lithuania for a two-day state visit. This is the first visit by President Fischer to Lithuania.

As underlined by President Adamkus, the ties that connect Lithuanian and Austrian people have been running throughout the history of the two nations, and today these ties are very symbolically expressed in the common mission of Vilnius and Linz of representing the European Capital of Culture.


Following the official welcoming ceremony for the Federal President of Austria, the Heads of States exchanged decorations and gifts.


President Adamkus decorated Austria's President Fischer with the Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Collar, for his personal initiative in developing Lithuania-Austrian intergovernmental relations and enhancing political, cultural and people-to-people cooperation between the two countries.


President Heinz Fischer of Austria decorated President Adamkus with the Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria.


Lithuania's President made the Austrian leader a gift of a silver medal by Lithuanian artist Petras Repšys, dedicated to the first book published in the State of Lithuania in the Lithuanian language back in 1599. Austria's President made President Adamkus a gift of a drinking set by glass company J.& L. Lobmeyr in Vienna.


In the meeting, the Lithuanian and Austrian Presidents discussed bilateral relations in trade, energy, culture, and other fields. The Heads of States also exchanged views on the international financial and economic situation, and discussed national and European Union's anti-crisis plans, European Neighbourhood Policy, and energy security issues.
Both Presidents agreed on the need to give special attention to the promotion of economic cooperation.

Mr. Adamkus underlined that projects in the areas related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, innovations, and research and development were particularly promising.

"In response to the global warming and energy security challenges, Lithuania seeks to exploit the potential of renewable energy. Therefore, Austria's vast experience in developing sustainable energy is extremely interesting and valuable to Lithuania," Lithuania's leader said.

The Lithuanian and Austrian Presidents shared the view that the European Union must demonstrate unity and solidarity, preserve the single market and maintain budgetary discipline, if it is to sustain the financial and economic crisis.

President Adamkus briefed his Austrian counterpart on Lithuania's actions aimed at stabilizing the economic situation in the country.


When discussing the EU Eastern Neighbourhood Policy, the Heads of States agreed on the importance of the European focus on these states. President Adamkus pointed out that even during a severe financial crisis the EU must continue active cooperation with its immediate neighbours in the East, and seek to connect Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and other Caucasian countries with the EU by as many ties as possible, e.g. by free trade agreements, simplified visa regime, or bilateral assistance projects.

The leaders of states also discussed the ongoing energy and infrastructure development projects in Europe. Giving an overview of the energy situation in Lithuania after the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in 2009, President Adamkus underlined that Lithuania was seeking common solutions with Europe on this issue.


Among other issues discussed in the meeting was the cooperation between Lithuania and Austria in international organizations, and Austria's membership and activities within the United Nations Security Council. The Federal President of Austria assured Austria's support to Lithuania's candidacy for a permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term of 2014-2015.


After the bilateral meeting between the Lithuanian and Austrian Presidents and their respective delegations, Šarūnas Adomavičius, Viceminister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, and Christine Marek, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth, signed the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Federal Republic of Austria on Mutual Representation by Diplomatic and Consular Missions in the Visa Application Procedures.


The two Presidents gave a joint press conference, following which President Heinz Fischer went to the Antakalnis Cemetery to honour the memory of those killed in the fight for Lithuania's independence, and laid a wreath at the memorial dedicated to them.


Later today, Austria's President will have a meeting with Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius in Trakai.


After lunch, President Adamkus and President Fischer will participate in the official opening ceremony of the international fine art exhibition ‘Yearning for Nature. European Landscapes' arranged as part of the national programme ‘Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009', in the Museum of Applied Arts.


In the evening, a state dinner will be hosted in the Presidential Palace in the honour of the Austrian President Fischer.



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