President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President: Historical memory and continuity constitute the foundations of Lithuanian-US relationship

2010-07-23

Friday, July 23, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė sent a letter to the participants of the ceremony of unveiling a commemorative plaque in Washington Square in Vilnius to mark the seventieth anniversary of the US Department of State Declaration on the Non-Recognition of the Annexation of the Baltic States.

"Distinguished Participants,
Dear Friends of Lithuania,

Stability, continuity and mutual respect have always constituted the very foundations of friendship between two countries. For Lithuania and the United States of America, these values were meaningfully imprinted in a milestone document issued seventy years ago today.

On July 23, 1940, the then Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles made a declaration stating, resolutely and uncompromisingly, to the world that America did not recognize de jure and de facto the occupation and annexation of Lithuania and the other Baltic States.

This step of major historic significance led to Lithuania's uninterrupted diplomatic representation in the United States. The Welles Declaration became a model for other Western countries to pursue a policy of non-recognition and not to forfeit loyalty to the ideals of freedom and independence. The resolve demonstrated by the United States helped the Lithuanian people to sustain hope during five long decades of occupation that Lithuania would be an independent and democratic state.

Even today, the Sumner Welles' Declaration is a cornerstone document defining bilateral relations and the principles of continuity and cooperation. I am confident that our shared ideals will continue to further strengthen the relationship between our countries," the President writes in her statement.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2010.07.23 07:43

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