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Address by H.E. Mr. Valdas Adamkus President of the Republic of Lithuania EAPC Summit in Prague

2002.11.22


Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Prague Summit is about transformation. As a new invitee, Lithuania is committed to sharing its responsibilities in the new security environment together with Allies and all interested Partners. This includes continued active engagement in the EAPC and involvement – both bilaterally and as a Partner – in projects, which support reform efforts and address the specific needs of individual countries around this table.

We can see that over the past decade NATO Partnership initiatives have paid off. Just as the Vilnius Group has fostered a culture of co-operation among aspirant countries, so too has the EAPC sowed the seeds of a true Euro-Atlantic security culture. By forging practical security links between the Alliance and its Partners, we can be in a better position to respond to challenges of the 21st century.

A closer, more qualitative relationship between NATO and Russia holds promise. Former adversaries now see each other as security partners and are developing ways for working together more closely. Lithuania looks forward to becoming part of this new relationship and sharing her own positive experience. As previous rounds of enlargement have demonstrated, NATO enlargement is about building security, stability and democracy in an undivided Europe – something that benefits all.

We also remain committed to developing stronger NATO-Ukraine relations and we encourage the implementation of reforms, which will further Ukraine’s goal of full Euro-Atlantic integration.

In reviewing partnership, Lithuania welcomes more focus on regional issues, for example in the Caucasus and Central Asia, where Lithuania is already sharing distinct national and Baltic co-operation experience with interested countries. The Comprehensive Review, which we fully endorse, highlights a wide variety of political and military instruments available to us. We encourage countries to take advantage of these instruments. They have helped us attain many of our achievements, such as successful implementation of reforms, which have brought us to the brink of NATO membership.

Today Europe, North America and other regions confront the same asymmetric threats and share many similar goals. We must stand together against terror and proliferation of weapons of nuclear destruction, consult on threats, co-ordinate responses, share risks and burdens. Lithuania fully supports the determination of the North Atlantic Council to ensure full and immediate compliance by Iraq of the UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

EAPC is the key forum that brings together North America and Europe, Allies and Partners. The EAPC Action Plan Against Terrorism gives us practical guidance on activities EAPC states may pursue in combating terrorism or could use in enhancing their own initiatives.

Partnership has prepared us for participation in international and Alliance operations. We are providing deployable units. Elite special forces are carrying out operations in “Enduring Freedom” side by side with their American counterparts. Our military medics are working together with their Czech colleagues in a field hospital in Afghanistan.

Acting together -- both politically and militarily -- helps us to deal with difficult, often unforeseeable threats, which are no longer limited by geography. Common interests are what bring us together. Shared values are what bind us and keep us strong in the face of serious challenges to our common security. We look forward to strengthening that unity and solidarity with Partners - today and in the future.

H.E. Mr. Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Maintained by the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Please specify source when quoting.