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Presidents of Lithuania and Czech Republic discussed bilateral relations and topical EU, NATO and energy security issues

Thursday, April 9, Vilnius - President Valdas Adamkus is now on a two-day state visit to the Czech Republic.

In Prague Castle, President Valdas Adamkus met with Czech President Václav Klaus and thanked him for the invitation to visit the Czech Republic during the demanding and responsible period of its EU presidency.

The Lithuanian and Czech presidents underlined that their two countries were linked by strong and friendly economic, cultural and political ties, joint work in the European Union and participation in NATO's international missions. "Cooperation within the European Union with such countries like the Czech Republic gives us strength and helps search for common solutions in the currently difficult environment," Mr. Adamkus said.

President Adamkus expressed his gratitude for the support extended by the Czech Republic to Lithuania in highest-level international forums. As a particular achievement, Mr. Adamkus singled out the decision made at the NATO summit to give more attention to countries bordering the Alliance, ensuring a higher level of their security through project development, training and education.

President Adamkus said that the Czech Republic was a good and reliable friend of Lithuania in international organizations, which never shied away from speaking the truth.

Speaking about EU prospects for the future, President Adamkus pointed out that Eastern and Central European countries needed a strong, unified and efficient European Union which is aware of the interests of all.

Among the other issues discussed was energy security. President Adamkus said that he highly appreciated EU funding to the Baltic-Swedish power link. "It is the fastest measure to deal with the energy isolation of the Baltic States. We are now working intensely with Latvia and Sweden on the practical aspects of realization of this project," Mr. Adamkus said.

The Lithuanian and Czech presidents also touched on the EU-Russian summit to be held next May where Václav Klaus would be present as the leader of the EU presiding state. The Valdas Adamkus said that Lithuania pursued a policy of practical values towards Russia, seeking to make it a reliable and responsible partner.

President Adamkus invited Václav Klaus to come to Vilnius, the European Capital of Culture 2009, for the celebrations of the Millennium of Lithuania on July 6.

Mr. Adamkus presented Václav Klaus with the Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great. President Klaus said that he accepted the awards as a great honor and commitment to strengthen cooperation between Lithuania and the Czech Republic in foreign policy, the economy, and people-to-people contacts.

During his visit to the Czech Republic, President Valdas Adamkus will also meet with Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, President of the Senate Pŕemysl Sobotka, and Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Miloslav Vlček.

On April 10, President Adamkus will host a business breakfast to discuss, together with Czech and foreign investors, the future business development prospects in Central Europe.

On Friday, President Valdas Adamkus will participate in the official opening ceremony of the international conference of historians under the title "Czechs, Lithuanians, and the Vector of Modern History of Central Europe" organized by the Lithuanian Embassy in the Czech Republic.

Friday evening, President Adamkus will return to Vilnius.


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