The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, and the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued a joint statement on Eastern Partnership.
“Our joint statement underlines the strategic importance of the Eastern Partnership and thorough preparations for the forthcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. At the Summit, we wish to initial the Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Armenia, as well as to sign the agreement with Ukraine, provided that criteria for EU membership are fulfilled. We believe that the Vilnius Summit should draw up new strategic guidelines for the Eastern Partnership countries. We are committed to further develop the Eastern Partnership programme, as the European Union’s foreign policy priority,” said Linkevičius.
According to the head of the Lithuanian diplomacy, the statement issued by the four Foreign Ministers reaffirms that the Baltic countries and Germany share a common vision for Eastern Neighbours, and commitment of all the countries is necessary for the implementation of the vision.
“Together we together sent a clear message to the Eastern Partnership countries today: we care about you, we see you, we appreciate your progress, and we encourage you to continue to carry out the reforms necessary for signing the Association Agreements, and for political association and economic integration with Europe. The Eastern Partnership was primarily designed to support the countries that take decisive steps toward democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, and Europe. The path seldom runs smooth, only constant and sincere involvement of the EU Member States and attention facilitates to successfully complete the journey – this applies to both the Eastern and Southern Partnership projects. We were on the same path not so long ago,” said Linkevičius.
The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius to be held on 28 and 29 November 2013 is one of the key events of the Lithuanian EU Presidency.
The “3+1” meeting also discussed such important issues as the EU agenda, relations with Russia, the EU Common Security and Defence Policy. Preparations for Lithuania’s incoming Presidency of the EU Council were also presented.
This is the 15th meeting of Foreign Ministers of the three Baltic States and Germany, which is held in Lithuania after a four-year break. Estonia will host the meeting next year.