(photo credit: GPO)
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in welcoming President Shimon Peres on
an official visit to her country on Wednesday, congratulated him on the
resumption of the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and said that this
new development was welcomed by the European Union.
At the beginning of July
Lithuania became the first of the Baltic States to assume the rotating
presidency of the Council of the EU, and Grybauskaite was speaking on behalf of
both Lithuania and the EU when she voiced the hope that after a three year
freeze in the peace process that the present talks would bear fruit and would
result in two states for two nations living side by side in peace.
pledged that the EU would do all in its power to support the peace
As to bilateral relations, Grybauskaite emphasized the
importance of Lithuania's ongoing strong relationship with Israel, and added
that maintaining a good relationship with Israel was also important to the
The Lithuanian President lauded Israel as a model of innovation,
which is one of the reasons that Lithuania is interested in enhancing its
As he had thanked Latvia earlier in the week, Peres voiced
Israel's appreciation for Lithuania's contribution to the EU's decision to list
the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
And again as he had
done in Latvia he criticized the EU for its decision to limit its financial aid
to Israeli projects and enterprises, so that only those within the green line
were eligible for funding. Peres asked his Lithuanian counterpart to use all her
influence to delay the implementation of the resolution, saying that if it goes
into effect as planned, it will be detrimental to the peace process. He
explained that this was the worst possible time for the EU to take any measure
that might be harmful to the peace talks.
If the EU wants to support the
initiative of US Secretary of State John Kerry, said Peres, the best thing it
can do is to give the two sides a chance to reach some form of an agreement
without any pressures being exerted on either side.