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Lithuanian parliamentary panel votes against recalling two ambassadors

Renatas Juška ir Arūnas Žurauskas
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Renatas Juška and Arūnas Žurauskas
Šaltinis: BNS

The Lithuanian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday voted against recalling Artūras Žurauskas and Renatas Juška from ambassadorial posts in Azerbaijan and Hungary.

According to information available to BNS, three out of nine members of the committee were in support of recalling Juška from office, while four wanted Žurauskas recalled. Nevertheless, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has said he will suggest that the government sack them from their posts.

This was the first time the committee refused to present its decision to the public. Immediately after the meeting, the committee's chairman Benediktas Juodka of the ruling Social Democrats rushed to another meeting, while other members said they were not authorized to publish results of closed meetings.

The Seimas statute suggests that committees are obliged to announce the issues discussed and the decisions made.

Linkevičius said he was not allowed to publish the committee's ruling.

"It seems that I am not authorized to publish the decision made by the committee," said the foreign minister.

The decision is advisory.

The committee discussed Linkevičius' proposition of relieving the two ambassadors of their duties after they lost confidence of Lithuania's top leaders.

The scandal involving Juška and Žurauskas erupted after their telephone conversations were published on youtube.com. In the conversations, the diplomats share their personal insights on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, the domestic situation in Turkmenistan and make remarks about Lithuanian leaders. Authenticity of the recordings has not been verified.

Žurauskas has already tendered resignation.

Under Lithuania's Constitution, ambassadors are recalled by President Dalia Grybauskaitė upon a proposition from the government.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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