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Lithuanian government suggests recalling ambassadors to Hungary and Azerbaijan

Renatas Juška ir Arūnas Žurauskas
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Renatas Juška and Arūnas Žurauskas
Šaltinis: BNS
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The Government of Lithuania decided on Wednesday to propose to President Dalia Grybauskaitė to recall the country's ambassadors to Hungary and Azerbaijan. The diplomats came under the prime minister's criticism after recordings of their phone conversations were leaked online.

According to the proposal, Ambassador to Hungary Renatas Juška and Ambassador to Azerbaijan Artūras Žurauskas should be recalled as of September 30. The fact that the decision regarding the ambassadors has been made was on Wednesday confirmed to BNS by the prime minister's spokeswoman Evelina Butkutė-Lazdauskienė.

"You should ask why the foreign minister made such a decision, and I was just asked to express my own position over the public comments and our ambassadors working in other countries," Butkevičius told journalists after a Cabinet sitting on Wednesday.

He also added that he was personally not offended by the remarks about him in the recorded conversations.

"For me, the key thing is that ambassadors work for our state and our government," he said.

Pursuant to the Constitution of Lithuania, ambassadors in Lithuania are appointed and recalled by President Grybauskaitė upon a request from the government.

Juška and Žurauskas came under fire after secret recordings of their phone conversations were published on YouTube. During the conversations, the ambassadors exchange their personal views on the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the internal situation in Turkmenistan and shared biting remarks about state leaders. The authenticity of the recordings has not been officially confirmed.

After the leak, Ambassador to Azerbaijan Žurauskas handed in his resignation.

The parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs, which only has advisory powers, has voiced opposition to the ambassadors' recall.

BNS
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