Old website version during the first term of office of President Valdas Adamkus (1998 02 26-2003 02 25)

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Introductory statement by President Valdas Adamkus of the Republic of Lithuania at the Town Hall Square

2002.11.23

Dear Lithuanians,
Dear citizens of this great city!
Distinguished guests,

Two days ago, Lithuania and our two Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia received invitations to join the North Atlantic Alliance. Today, it is my great pleasure to introduce you the man, who has been so effective in helping us achieve this goal. I am pleased to welcome the leader of the great country, a country which has been so crucial to us.

In good and difficult times, America has remained our active supporter and faithful ally. Your country has never recognized Lithuania’s occupation. Your country has supported our transition to democracy and free market after Lithuania regained its independence. Mr. President, we have been inspired by this commitment, and it has guided us toward a better, more optimistic future.

Now our dream is about to come true. Our choice has been full integration with the European and transatlantic family, as the shortcut to our security and well being. And we have achieved a lot in developing our democracy and building a region that is peaceful, progressive, and cooperative. Therefore, we are confident of the way Lithuania has chosen.

Mr. President, Vilnius is a city of tolerance and solidarity. For many centuries various cultures and religions lived here together and contributed to our cultural and economic development. Right now we are exactly at the birthplace of the Vilnius Group, a modern epitome of solidarity, which helped us so much with integration efforts. I believe that during your stay you will rediscover many more examples of our common European heritage.

But today Vilnius is also a city of joy and celebration. And we greatly enjoy this rare opportunity to have you, Mr. President, with us.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please welcome the President of the United States of America!

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.