President of the Republic of Lithuania

EU-Turkey cooperation is necessary for countering geopolitical challenges

2018-08-28

Tuesday, August 28, Vilnius President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. At the meeting, tensions arising in the global space, relations between the European Union and Turkey as well as bilateral cooperation were on the agenda.

According to the President, in the face of geopolitical security and economic challenges, Europe cannot turn away from Turkey encountering financial difficulties. It is necessary to search for solutions to assist Turkey that makes a strategic contribution in curbing terrorism and migration threats posed to Europe. 

Turkey is a reliable member of NATO and plays a crucial role in ensuring collective defense of the entire Alliance. Therefore, the President underscored that it was very important for the two Allies – the U.S. and Turkey – to find ways to ease mutual tension.

Lithuania also consistently supports EU-Turkey dialogue. Turkey needs Europe and Europe needs Turkey in trade, security, migration and other areas. EU-Turkey refugee agreement that came into force two years ago is an example of such successful partnership. This is the most effective instrument in managing migrant flows from Syria to Europe that has reduced the number of illegal arrivals by 95 per cent.

In reference to bilateral relations, it has been underscored that Turkey is increasingly becoming an important trade partner of Lithuania. Last year, bilateral trade grew by 59 per cent and reached over half a billion euros. Information technologies, lasers, biomedicine and life sciences are among highly promising areas. Lithuania supports further deepening of EU-Turkey Customs Union that would give a push in promoting bilateral economic relations and would be mutually beneficial.  

Both countries are linked by strong people-to-people contacts. For Lithuanians, Turkey is the main holiday and tourism destination. Last year, 135 thousand tourists from Lithuania visited Turkey.

Turkey is one of the founding members of NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Vilnius. This year, Turkish ships participated in BALTOPS, Alliance’s military exercise in the Baltic Sea.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.08.28 12:58

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