Friday, January 12, Vilnius - As Lithuania awaits Pope Francis, President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See. The President and the Vatican’s foreign minister discussed the upcoming visit by the Holy Father and the most pressing international policy issues, including peace in the Middle East and Ukraine, security in our region and in Europe, the solution of migration crisis, and EU topicalities.
According to the President, the papal visit will be a very special centenary gift to the Lithuanian people. Lithuania has always felt the support of the Holy See. The Vatican helped to consolidate the spirit of national revival, it never recognized Lithuania’s occupation and encouraged Lithuania to have no fear when it regained independence. Today, too, the Pope’s message of encouragement is highly important as it calls for cherishing the state and creating a free and peaceful world.
President Grybauskaitė and Archbishop Gallagher exchanged views about ensuring peace in the Middle East. Jerusalem holds deep significance for Christians, Jews and Muslims. Therefore, the Holy See urges the countries of the world to respect U.N. Resolutions and find a solution to Jerusalem through dialogue. Like the Vatican, Lithuania holds a firm, consistent position that the status of Jerusalem is a sensitive issue in the Middle East peace process, which has to be resolved through negotiations in accordance with international obligations.
The security situation in our region and in Europe was also discussed. The Holy See is a respected moral authority not only among the faithful, but also across the world. Therefore, the Pope’s call on countries to develop relationships based on equality and respect carries great significance. Lithuania and the whole Europe are facing assertive militarism, attempts to interfere in internal affairs, aggressive lies, and propaganda. campaigns.
Ways of assisting the people of Ukraine were also discussed. The Holy See gives continued attention to the war-ravaged Ukraine and calls on the world not to forget it in time of hardship. Lithuania provides continuous support to Ukraine, helping to implement reforms and supplying aid to the victims of war.
The Holy See also calls on European and world countries not to be indifferent to the fate of refugees. Lithuania to the best of its ability gives refuge to people fleeing from war. It provides assistance to the refugees sheltering in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern and North African countries through various EU and UN programmes.
Last updated 2018.01.13 12:59Back