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Published: 2 april 2012 18:06

Lithuanian Foreign Minister welcomes Baku's approach to EU

Audronius Ažubalis
BFL/ Tomo Lukšio nuotr. / Audronius Ažubalis

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, currently on a visit to Azerbaijan, has met with the country's leaders and expressed Lithuania's support for Azerbaijan's approach to the European Union. The minister also invited the South Caucasian country to take part in the container train Vikingas project, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

On Monday, Ažubalis met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Artur Raisizade and Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mamediyarov.

"The Lithuanian minister of foreign affairs expressed Lithuania's support for Azerbaijan's wish to activate the dialogue with the European Union, and congratulated the country's leaders on starting negotiations with Brussels on the facilitated visa regime and readmission," the ministry said in a statement.

Ažubalis said that the expansion of the EU Eastern Partnership will be one of the priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2013. The minister invited Azerbaijan to continue active negotiations with the European Union on the Association Agreement which might be finalized during the Lithuanian Presidency.

"Although Lithuanian companies find market niches in Azerbaijan, not all the potential for economic cooperation is used. There are many opportunities to develop cooperation in the fields of information technologies, construction, ecology, tourism and other spheres," the Lithuanian foreign minister said.

In his words, the container train Vikingas project would encourage more active bilateral trade relations and create greater potential for economic cooperation.

The container train Vikingas is a joint project of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, linking the Baltic and Black Seas. It takes 52 hours for the train to travel the distance of 1,734 kilometers, and the train crosses the EU's external border in just 30 minutes.

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