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President received letters of credence from Italian Ambassador

Friday, March 13, Vilnius - President Valdas Adamkus received letters of credence from the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to Lithuania Mr. Renato Maria Ricci.

In the credentials ceremony, President Adamkus said he believed the accreditation of the new ambassador would provide a new impetus for bilateral relations of the two countries, by contributing to the development of cooperation for the benefit of Lithuanian and Italian people, businesses, parliaments, and governments.


The President pointed out that Lithuania would never forget Italia's policy of non-recognition of the soviet occupation of our country. In the post-war period, hundreds of Lithuanians who tried to escape from the soviet terror found home in Italy, and Stasys Lozoraitis, leader of Lithuania's diplomacy in exile who resided in Rome throughout the occupation period, managed to preserve the power to act and fight for Lithuania's independence.


The Head of State also recalled the time when our state was making its first steps towards restoration and consolidation of independence and when Italy supported enthusiastically Lithuania's euroatlantic aspirations.


"I am confident Lithuania's integration into NATO and the EU have brought our countries even closer together, and today we can further enjoy our reliable and close bilateral relations," President Adamkus said.


Lithuania's President noted that the economic and political cooperation between the two states yielded good results, with the steady growth of mutual trade and with cultural exchanges having become an integral part of the daily life of Lithuanian and Italian people.


The President expressed hope the period of residence of Ambassador R. M. Ricci in Lithuania would be marked by a successful solution of the issue of Lithuania's pre-war ownership of Villa Lituania. President Adamkus noted that Italy had always been one of the biggest supporters of European integration, and expressed confidence that the diverse and rich experience of the two countries would lay a firm foundation in strengthening solidarity and responsibility within the European Union in the face of the current global challenges.


"Today we must give due regard to our neighbours in the Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean Sea region, and South Caucasus, to help them not to divert from their chosen path of carrying out legal reforms and building democratic societies. It is the key to a truly competitive and united European Union open to its neighbours," the President said during the Italian Ambassador accreditation ceremony.


President Adamkus invited senior Italian officials to visit Lithuania more frequently, and asked to pass over his best wishes to the President of the Republic of Italy Giorgio Napolitano.


Presenting his letters of credence, Ambassador Renato Maria Ricci underlined that Italy was giving much attention to Lithuania and to all Baltic and Scandinavian countries in general. On March 18, Tallinn will host a meeting of Italian ambassadors to the Baltic and Scandinavian countries, to be moderated by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfredo Mantica. According to the Italian Ambassador, in this context Lithuania has a leading role to play with respect to the Eastern neighbours of the enlarged European Union


"Italy welcomes the Eastern Partnership initiative," Ambassador R. M. Ricci said.


Press Service of the President



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