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L. Linkevičius: We must look for ways to return sides in Middle East conflict to negotiating table

Created: 2020.05.18 / Updated: 2020.05.18 13:36

On 15 May in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, together with heads of diplomacy of the other two Baltic states, participated in a video conference of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Ministers had a comprehensive discussion on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Middle East Peace Process, the Southern Neighborhood, the situation in the wider Middle East, and other relevant issues of foreign policy.

When discussing the EU Partnerships on behalf of the three Baltic states, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister underlined the importance of the Eastern Partnership, the need to clearly support Eastern partners during the forthcoming summit, and to adopt a corresponding statement.

EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs discussed the Middle East Peace Process, expressed their willingness to work with the new Government of Israel once it was sworn in on 17 May, and reaffirmed their support for a negotiated two state solution.

The EU must maintain close ties with the new Government of Israel, particularly in the areas of mutual interest. At the same time, we must maintain our dialogue with the key partners in the Middle East Peace Process – the USA, countries in the region, especially Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia – and more actively seek ways to return sides in the Middle East conflict to the negotiating table using confidence-building measures," said the Minister L. Linkevičius.

The EU provides assistance to the Southern Neighborhood and Middle Eastern countries that are hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is in this light that Foreign Ministers expressed their concern about the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic.

“Lithuania stands in solidarity with the EU and the international community. The country allocates humanitarian aid to help reduce the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to the worst affected countries in the EU’s neighborhood. Political consequences of the pandemic may be very painful, especially for countries in unstable security situations, where the ongoing conflicts have caused critical humanitarian crises," said L. Linkevičius.

Lithuania has contributed to the UN efforts and allocated EUR 50,000 in humanitarian aid to Palestine refugees in order to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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