Lithuania in the News
8th September 2013
President Obama Affirms Importance of Lithuania’s Security to America
Presidents Barack Obama and Dalia Grybauskaitė in conversation.
Photo courtesy
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with President Barack Obama of the United States at the White House on August 30, 2013. She met President Obama together with the other Presidents of the Baltic States - Toomas Ilves of Estonia and Andris Bērziņš of Latvia. She also met President Obama on her own representing the European Union (EU), as Lithuania now holds the Presidency of EU Council. Prior to the meeting at the White House, the US Vice President Joe Biden hosted the Baltic Presidents at a lunch meeting at the Naval Observatory in Washington.
During a press conference, which was shown in real time on TV, President Obama made it abundantly clear that the United States regards the independence and territorial integrity of the Baltic States as very important to United States. During the press conference President Obama also discussed the ongoing Syrian crisis and he did this with President Grybauskaitė seated between him and Vice President Biden on her other
President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Vice President Joe Biden.
Photo courtesy
side. It was apparent that this seating arrangement was meant to send a very clear message to Russia, where some politicians and political commentators have been urging Russia to attack the Baltic States, as a reprisal in the event of any attack on Syria by the United States.
In Washington that day the United States, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania issued a joint statement in which, referring to the 1998 Baltic Charter, they declared that they “reaffirm our commitment to strengthening our relations ….. As NATO Allies, bound by our shared transatlantic values and holding a common vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace, we resolve to continue and expand our cooperation in the Baltic region and beyond to build a more prosperous, secure, and inclusive future.” Among the issues that the joint statement emphasised were the importance of strengthening energy security, addressing climate change, promoting nuclear safety and security, and strengthening cooperation on cyber security issues regionally and globally.
In this context it is also worth remembering the pledge that US President George W. Bush made on the steps of Vilnius Town Hall, on November 23rd, 2002, during his visit to Lithuania that year. He declared: “Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America.”

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