"The foundation is great, mutual understanding is growing. I think that such visits, top visits like the one we are going to have soon, will be another impulse, and we should patiently continue breaking this ground, and let's not ruin something as we sometimes like to do, and everything will be fine," the minister said in an interview with Žinių Radijas (News Radio) on Tuesday on the eve of Israeli President Shimon Peres' visit to Lithuania.
"Time has come to look ahead, into the light, and that is a very favorable background for the Israeli president's visit, for a historic visit to Lithuania, a visit we are looking forward to very much, and we'll show places very dear to him, all the more so that the Israeli president is a Litvak, it means that we have many ties that might contribute to the mutual dialogue. The visit is very much in time as we are on our way to the light, and let's look into the future but let's not forget the past in any way," the Lithuanian foreign minister said.
Linkevičius confirmed that he felt a thaw in mutual relations during his latest visit to Israel. "There have been various periods but during my latest visit when I met with top officials, one could feel, and it was probably one of the first times, that we start looking more ahead. The past is respected, and nobody can be forgiven for those crimes that were committed, and during the war and after the war. We understand perfectly well what we are talking about. We should also take on certain responsibility ourselves as a nation, although we will always underline that there were a lot of Lithuanians who saved Jews," Linkevičius said.
Israeli President Peres is scheduled to pay a state visit to Lithuania later this week.