Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: Lithuania is interested in developing closer relations between the EU and Azerbaijan
On 30 April in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis completed his official visit to the South Caucasus. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister was received by the President Ilham Aliyev, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov, and the Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov, who co-chaired the Lithuania-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Commission on Bilateral Cooperation together with Landsbergis. The officials of both countries discussed prospects of strengthening bilateral relations, preparations for the next Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for the autumn, the region's security situation and other issues of international policy.
“Azerbaijan is our important partner. We are successfully developing practical cooperation with the country. Moreover, Azerbaijan is the largest export market in the region," said Landsbergis. The interlocutors drew attention to the intensive process of sharing Lithuania’s reform experience with Azerbaijan (our country’s institutions are already involved in 12 EU Twinning projects in Azerbaijan) and the interest that young Azerbaijanis took in studies at Lithuanian universities.
Landsbergis noted that Azerbaijan was a strategic partner of the EU in the field of energy and highlighted the importance of closer relations between the EU and Azerbaijan. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister hoped that the EU's negotiations on a new framework agreement with Azerbaijan would soon be concluded. In 2017, the EU and Azerbaijan began talks on the new framework agreement, which is designed to give new impetus to mutually beneficial cooperation. The representatives of both Lithuania and Azerbaijan agreed that this would be an important achievement in the run-up to the next Eastern Partnership summit.
At the meetings with Azerbaijani officials, Landsbergis stressed that Lithuania was interested in a sustainable long-term solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which would substantially contribute to the consolidation of peace and stability in the South Caucasus. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister said that Lithuania supported the efforts of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Landsbergis also spoke in favour of a greater role of the EU in this process.
On the eve of the official meetings, 29 April in Baku, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also opened a photography exhibition, dedicated to Lithuanian Tatars and attended a joint event with Poland to commemorate the 230th anniversary of the Constitution of 3 May.