Lithuanian Foreign Ministry: We are glad that Turkey’s civil society has rallied to protect democracy

On 22 August, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevi?ius visited Turkey, where he met with the Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Y?ld?r?m, the Speaker of the Parliament Ismail Kahraman and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavu?o?lu. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania said the meetings focused on bilateral cooperation, relations between the EU and Turkey, the implementation of the decisions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, relations with Russia, situations in Ukraine, Syria and other international policy issues.

“Lithuania’s Foreign Minister expressed condolences to the people of Turkey over the innocent victims of the failed coup attempt. “We have strongly condemned the criminal attempts to overthrow the democratically elected government of Turkey. We stand in solidarity with the people of Turkey in this difficult hour and we are glad that Turkey’s civil society has rallied to protect democracy. We understand that the Turkish civil society is in shock after such a massive attack. Certainly, the crime has to be investigated and the offenders must be brought to justice. We believe that Turkey will respect the principle of the rule of law, international law and human rights, as it has committed to,” said Minister Linkevi?ius.

“As regards the EU-Turkey relations, the Minister Linkevi?ius noted that Turkey was a very important partner of the European Union, ranked the EU’s fifth-largest trading partner and was linked to the EU by a Customs Union agreement. Tukey also has an important role to play in addressing major challenges such as migration, terrorism and others,” the Ministry said in a statement published on its website.

“Lithuania has consistently supported Turkey’s European integration efforts. “Lithuania speaks in favour of continuing Turkey’s accession talks, while taking into account the existing requirements and Turkey’s progress in implementing the necessary reforms,” said the Foreign Minister. The head of the Turkish diplomacy assured that Turkey supported Lithuania’s wish to join the OECD.”

“During the visit, the officials also discussed bilateral relations between Lithuania and Turkey, cooperation in economic and other areas. “Having re-established diplomatic relations between our two countries 25 years ago, we can now enjoy our excellent bilateral relationship, which is based on trust, openness and a close political dialogue, as well as solid economic ties and the people-to-people contact,” said the head of the Lithuanian diplomacy.