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Friday, 13.12.2013, 13:32
Lithuania and Israel discussed steps towards boosting investment, trade and tourism between countries
|Audronius Azubalis and Daniel Ayalon. Vilnius, 4.05.2011. Photo: urm.lt|
Minister Azubalis positively evaluated the expanding cooperation between Lithuania and Israel, and emphasized the importance of continuing the close dialogue with Israel. "Lithuania values Israel as its strategic partner and a friend in the Middle East, the country with which we share common values and interests, such as regional security, fight against anti-Semitic incitement, bilateral economic cooperation, especially in the areas of research, high technology and tourism, and academic, educational and cultural exchanges, commercial ties," the Minister said.
Visits of Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman, Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov and business delegations to Lithuania are expected already this year.
Minister Azubalis noted that Lithuania, which currently holds the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Presidency of the Community of Democracies, pays special attention to the strengthening of cooperation with Mediterranean partner countries, building democracy and tolerance education.
The Minister also stressed that Lithuania recognized Israel's legitimate security concerns and supported the perspective for the two-state solution of Israel and Palestine coexisting in peace and security.
At the meeting, the officials agreed to mark the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Israel in 2012.
Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayalon and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Asta Skaisgiryte Liauskiene discussed the most important bilateral issues, the situation in the Middle East, important issues of the European Union and the Middle East peace process, and cooperation in international organizations during the Lithuanian-Israeli political consultations.
After the meetings, Ayalon viewed the exhibition "Jerusalem of Lithuania: Time and People", which is currently on display at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and which was co-organized by the Jewish communities of Lithuania and Vilnius, and the Jewish Culture & Information Centre.