Lithuania in the News
3rd June, 2007
State Visits Confirm Lithuania’s International Standing
Irish President Mary McAleese (on the right) with President
Valdas Adamkus, Mrs. Alma Adamkus and Dr. Martin McAleese
Last week Lithuania was honoured by the State Visits of the Irish President Mary McAleese and the Japanese Emperor Akihito. In turn, this week Lithuania’s President Valdas Adamkus has made a State Visit to Portugal. Such visits demonstrate that in the 17 years since Lithuania reestablished of its independence it has become a recognised, respected and valued member of the international community.
The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, visited Lithuania May 23-24, 2007, accompanied by her husband Dr. Martin McAleese. She met President Adamkus and other government officials, visited Trakai and explored the Vilnius Old Town. President McAleese declared that Ireland can learn from Lithuania how to develop relations with its neighbours. Referring to the large Lithuanian community now living in Ireland, she praised the contribution they made to Ireland and said she wished that Lithuanian girls would teach Irishmen how to dance!
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in the centre, flanked
by President Valdas Adamkus and Mrs. Alma Adamkus
The Emperor of Japan Akihito and his wife Michiko made a State Visit to Lithuania May 26-27, 2007. During this trip to Europe Emperor Akihito also visited Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Britain. Lithuania and the other Baltic States felt particularly honoured as, since Akihito ascended the throne in 1989, he has only visited 20 countries, with the Baltic States the only countries of the former Soviet block to have been visited. Akihito showed himself to be very well
President Valdas Adamkus being greeted by Portuguese
President Anibal Cavaco Silva
informed about Lithuania’s history and declared that "he was deeply moved by the courage and dignity which Lithuania faced its difficulties" and that "many nations could learn from what Lithuanian achieved during its brief period of independence". In addition to various official engagements, Akihito and his wife attended a special concert of traditional Lithuanian dancing and music and visited an exhibition of traditional crafts. The Empress Michiko was particularly impressed by amber craftsmanship and the Emperor was very interested in the making of traditional musical instruments. Officials declared that Lithuania left the emperor with very deep impressions, especially with its multifaceted history. The visit has been extensively reported in Japan, which will lead to much greater knowledge of Lithuania in Japan.
President Valdas Adamkus has made a State Visit to Portugal May 31 - June 2, 2007. In his talks and lectures President Adamkus emphasised the parallels between Portugal and Lithuania as countries with a similar geopolitical situation, being at the two extreme ends of the European Union. With Portugal taking the presidency of the European Union on July 1, 2007, President Adamkus expressed the hope that Portugal will establish a strengthened European Neighbourhood policy, to which Lithuania has given much attention.

Photos courtesy President of Lithuania website -
Further information: 24-28/5/07, 1-2/6/07 28/5/07