24-28 October 2001
President Valdas Adamkus of the Republic of Lithuania started his working visit by conferring the orders of Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas on the citizens of the Kingdom of Spain for the services to the cause of development of the Lithuanian-Spanish relations and the contribution to the strengthening of co-operation between Lithuania and Spain.
On October 25, the Lithuanian leader met with high officials of Spain. During the meeting with President of the Senate, Esperanza Aguirre de Biedma, the Lithuanian President discussed bilateral political and economic relations. President Esperanza Aguirre de Biedma was interested in economic situation in Lithuania and the privatization process.
The President of the Senate expressed hope that the Lithuanian President’s visit in Spain would give impetus for further co-operation in the areas of politics, economy and culture.
The meeting with Minister of Defense, Frederico Trillo, focused on bilateral military co-operation. Following the meeting, the Spanish Minister of Defense and his Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevicius, signed a bilateral protocol on military co-operation between the Kingdom of Spain and the Republic of Lithuania.
President Adamkus underscored the importance of the signing of this protocol not only to bilateral relations of the states, but also to Lithuania’s integration to NATO.
The Lithuanian Head of the State also visited the University of Complutense and attended a reception hosted by the President of the autonomous region of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon.
On October 26 the President greeted the participants of the Lithuanian-Spanish business seminar.
The President said that it would be beneficial to Lithuania to utilize the experience of Spain, an EU member State, in creating a more favorable business environment as well as in carrying out privatization and restructuring of major companies.
President Adamkus invited Spanish businessmen to invest in Lithuania more actively, to have a more frequent exchange of trade missions and fairs and advance other direct business relations between the two states.
The Lithuanian leader welcomed the initiative to develop closer co-operation between the Klaipeda seaport and Spanish ports. “Spain could contribute to the reconstruction of the Klaipeda port as it has extensive experience in this area”, said the President.
“Both Lithuania and Spain have to intensify co-operation in the domain of tourism and to better utilize the existing potential”, said president Adamkus in his welcome speech.
On September 27, President Adamkus of Lithuania participated in International Conference on Democratic Transition and Consolidation that addressed the principles of activity of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in the period of democratic reforms as well as anti-corruption measures and the formation of pluralism.
Heads of 18 states as well as prime ministers and former heads of state took part in the conference on October 24-27. The conference was held under the auspices of King Juan Carlos of Spain.
The Lithuanian leader delivered an address at the final session of the conference devoted to the issues of democratic consolidation.
The President said that democracy must be defended. “Our nations advanced towards democracy in many different ways. However, in each single case democracy was the result of deliberate efforts of the will and aspirations of the people,” said the Head of the State.
The President emphasized that more active international co-operation was vital to democratic development. He also urged political leaders not to forget the needs of society.
In concluding, President Adamkus said that it was not the size of a nation that mattered, but its determination to pursue the path of democracy.
King Juan Carlos of Spain delivered the closing speech of the conference.
During the conference, the President of Lithuania met with Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Maria Aznar, to discuss bilateral and Euro-Atlantic co-operation. The Spanish Prime minister noted Lithuania’s significant progress in the EU membership negotiations. Prime Minister Aznar said that Spain supported Lithuania’s aspirations and expected that decisions crucial to the future of the European Union would be made during the Spanish presidency.
Spain will hold EU presidency in the first semester of the next year. It is planned to that next March the European Council will take place in Barcelona.
When talking about economic co-operation, the Lithuanian President recalled the Lithuanian-Spanish business forum that had taken place in the morning of the same day. President Adamkus said that Spanish businessmen were highly interested in contributing to more active co-operation. In the opinion of the President, the opening of the Spanish embassy in Lithuania could also contribute to this end.
President Adamkus invited the Prime Minister of Spain to visit Lithuania. Prime Minister Aznar promised to pay a visit to Lithuania already this year.
In Madrid, the Lithuanian leader also met with the Romanian President, Ion Iliescu and discussed the possibilities of bilateral co-operation.
Press Service of the President