Foreign Minister G. Landsbergis: US security guarantees and NATO's open door policy have inspired and strengthened Lithuania
On 23 November, Lithuania marked the 20th anniversary of the US security promise to Lithuania. At the commemorative event in the Vilnius Town Hall, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis noted that the US security promise to Lithuania and NATO's Open Doors policy had inspired and strengthened Lithuania.
"The security promise voiced by the President Bush during his visit to Vilnius that anyone who chooses Lithuania as their enemy will also become an enemy of the United States of America inspired and strengthened Lithuania at a time when we needed it most.
A whole generation of Lithuanian citizens grew up feeling free and secure, taking Lithuania's membership in the EU and NATO almost for granted. The US security guarantees and NATO's open-door policy have inspired and strengthened Lithuania. Now it is time to open our hearts and doors as wide as possible to other countries on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister G. Landsbergis.
In appreciation of the good faith and commitment of the United States to security and sustainable partnerships, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Landsbergis, presented tokens of appreciation to the US organisations and institutions.
"This year, we celebrate the centenary of the friendship between Lithuania and our strategic partner, the United States, and the 20th anniversary of the historic US security promise. Tomorrow, America and Americans will sit down around their Thanksgiving tables. All these anniversaries and traditional celebrations are an opportunity to remember once again that neither peace nor freedom is for granted. Today Lithuania belongs to the EU and NATO families and is an attractive investment destination for partners not only from Europe but also from America, and Indo-Pacific. All this is not a given, but a consequence of strong diplomatic relations, sustainable business ties, and open cooperation," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister G. Landsbergis when presenting the tokens of appreciation.
The acknowledgments were presented: To the US Department of State for its policy of non-recognition of the Soviet occupation, which has helped ensure the continuity of Lithuanian statehood, for its support for Lithuania's Euro-Atlantic integration, for its strategic partnership and joint work in safeguarding shared values and democracies around the world.
To the US Armed Forces - for their partnership and cooperation and for their strong shoulder in defending every inch of Lithuanian soil.
To the American Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania - for promoting US-Lithuania trade and investment.
To the American International School of Vilnius - for making Vilnius an attractive place to work and invest in Lithuania.
"I am grateful to the Lithuanian-American community for their endless efforts to bring Lithuania and the United States closer, to promote cultural and people-to-people ties. Your faith, connections, and efforts helped Lithuania bravely take its first steps in the international community after regaining independence. And Lithuania stays committed to democracy and freedom," the Minister said while presenting the Lithuanian-American community with a token of appreciation.
The bands of Lithuanian Armed Forces and the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division, which came to Lithuania at the initiative of the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius, took part in the commemorative event.
George W. Bush's visit to Vilnius took place just after the NATO summit in Prague. During the meeting, Lithuania was invited to join NATO along with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Next year's NATO Summit will take place in Vilnius on 11-12 July.