Vilnius, April 26th. Acting President Arturas Paulauskas of the Republic of Lithuania received today Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, member of the US House of Representatives.
The meeting focused on the US-Lithuania bilateral relations, Lithuanias membership of the Euro-Atlantic structures and the situation in Iraq.
Acting President Arturas Paulauskas thanked Congressman Alcee L. Hastings for continuous support that the US Government extended to Lithuania during the period of integration into NATO.
On 29 March this year Lithuania became a full member of NATO. In a few days, Lithuania and other nine countries will join the European Union.
Acting President Arturas Paulauskas underlined that upon joining NATO and EU, Lithuania will have to take a fresh look at its relations with the United States and co-ordinate its position with the United States on security, transatlantic and European issues. According to the Acting President, this would provide for the enhancement of co-operation between Lithuania and the United States.
The Acting President of Lithuania emphasized the commitment of his country to actively promote a strong transatlantic link and act in support of solidarity between the North America and Europe. He further expressed belief that the United States presence in Europe is a corner stone of peace and security within the Euro-Atlantic area.
Much time of the meeting was devoted to the situation in Iraq. Acting President Arturas Paulauskas was interested in the debate in the US House of Representatives about the effect that the decision of the Spanish Government to withdraw its contingent from Iraq will have on the situation there.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings thanked Lithuania on behalf of the US government for its contribution to the fight against international terrorism and for contributing its soldiers to the multilateral missions conducted in the most troubled parts of the world. He also asked for the view of the Acting President to the great menace of human trafficking.
According to the Acting President of Lithuania, the topical issue of human trafficking highly concerns Lithuania. Therefore, he said, the situation requires immediate pooling of police efforts of all European nations to fight this evil.
Also, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings took interest in Lithuanias relations with Belarus.
The Acting President briefed Congressman Alcee L. Hastings on the development of relations between Lithuania and Belarus and noted the presence of the Belarus Institute in Vilnius.
Press Service of the President