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President believes the four years in NATO were successful for Lithuania and urges the Alliance not to close the door to new members


Friday, March 28, Vilnius – The President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus congratulates all people of Lithuania on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of NATO membership. Lithuania joined the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization on 29 March 2004.

“Lithuania has been recognized as a part of the reborn and uniting Europe and a reliable member of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance. Being in the NATO space, Lithuanian people cherish their freedom and democratic values. Celebrating the 4th anniversary of NATO membership we are happy to live, together with the like-minded, in the free community and to build a secure future,” said president Adamkus.

The President notes that Lithuania as NATO member has implemented the better part of its pre-accession goals.

“NATO mutual assistance and defense guarantees give Lithuania every opportunity to plan its forces efficiently and to invest defense allocations properly. International forums always underline that our state makes a significant contribution to the important mission of the Alliance, i.e. to build security and stability”, said President Adamkus.

Lithuanian troops participate in operations in Kosovo and Iraq, and lead the Ghowr Provincial Reconstruction Group in Afghanistan. Lithuania also contributes to the NATO Response Force. The National Army has been strengthened with the Special Operational Force.

In early April, a very important NATO summit is due in Bucharest, with the aim to discuss the issue of NATO‘s further development.  According to President Adamkus, Lithuania, being convinced of the benefit of NATO membership, seeks to keep the door open to new members.

“On this 4th anniversary we can say with confidence that development of the Alliance is not only our but also Europe‘s success. Therefore, Lithuania will express its explicit support for all candidates in Bucharest“, underlined the President. “Once this decision is taken, the Vilnius Ten process will advance faster. It is important to have the development process continue and to maintain the open-door principle to be applied to the European states, Ukraine and Georgia.”

According to the President, these two countries have clearly selected the path to democracy and Euro-Atlantic integration.

“They belong to the Euro-Atlantic space and are committed to contribute to building security and stability in the region. We hope that the Alliance will maintain is strength, unity and openness to democratic countries willing and capable of implementing membership commitments. I believe that NATO will resist potential attempts by non-NATO countries to inflict their will on the Alliance”, said the President.

Press Service of the President

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