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President Adamkus received letters of credence from Sri Lankan and Beninese ambassadors

Monday, January 12, Vilnius - President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus received letters of credence from the Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mr. Ranjith Pemsiri Jayasooriya and the Ambassador of the Republic of Benin Ms. Arlette Dagnon Vignikin.

Welcoming the new Sri Lankan Ambassador to Lithuania, the President underlined this appointment was an important and promising step in the development of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During the credentials ceremony President Adamkus noted that although bilateral relations between Lithuania and Sri Lanka were not intensive, Lithuania was interested in the possibility of livelier activities in South Asia. "We are strengthening Lithuania's representation in this region: in 2008 we opened an embassy in New Delhi. We are also delighted to have a very active honorary consul in Sri Lanka," the President said.

"Lithuania and Sri Lanka have enjoyed diplomatic relations for twelve years now, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I believe that your assignment to Lithuania will encourage our two countries to step up the development of tourism, economic and political ties and that our cooperation will be consolidated by at least one bilateral treaty," the President of Lithuania said further.

The leader of the country expressed confidence that at international level, too, Lithuania and Sri Lanka would continue their mutually beneficial cooperation and that they would give their backing to each other's candidates for positions of importance to the two countries in international organizations. President Adamkus also said Lithuania would greatly appreciate Sri Lanka's support to Lithuania's nominee for the post of the Director-General of UNESCO.

"I wholeheartedly support your commitment to strengthen cooperation ties between Lithuania and Sri Lanka and I wish you the best of success in discharging the important duties of your mission. I would like to take the opportunity to convey my cordial greetings to the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka," said the President accepting the letters of credence.

During the ceremony of accepting letters of credence from the Republic of Benin, the President underlined the appointment of the first ambassador of this African state to Lithuania would give a good opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations between Lithuania and Benin and would offer new paths of cooperation.

"The active role played by the European Union in Africa encourages Lithuania to look for new areas of cooperation with African states. Lithuania is watching the implementation of the strategic partnership between the European Union and Africa approved in 2007 and looking for ways of making an active contribution to this partnership," the President of the Republic said.

The President underlined the diplomatic relations entered into in 2005 had opened up more opportunities for finding common interests and the prospects of cooperation between the two countries. According to the Lithuanian leader, Lithuania and Benin have not used up their potential to develop more active bilateral political, economic and cultural relations in full yet and they have to continue their successful cooperation in international organizations such as the United Nations and the International Francophone Organization.

"Trade between our two states is not intense. This reveals the need to give more attention to the development of bilateral economic relations. Being diverse, Lithuania's economy can offer a wide range of products for the Benin market. I believe exchange of business delegations could help our entrepreneurs to make direct contacts," the President said.

President Adamkus invited the new Ambassador to present the Benin culture in Lithuania and to disseminate information about Lithuania in her country.
During the credentials ceremony, the Head of State wished the Ambassador successful work in Lithuania and expressed hope new contacts in the field of art and business would bring the Lithuanian and Beninese states and people closer together.


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