Wednesday, April 28, Brussels - The most important task for NATO is to remain the guarantor of security for its members, President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined during her visit at NATO Headquarters.
While in Brussels for a one-day visit, the President met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and spoke at the meeting of the North-Atlantic Council.
NATO country ambassadors extended a very warm welcome to the President of Lithuania, for whom this was the first meeting of the North-Atlantic Council. In her speech covering the prospects of the Alliance, the President underlined that NATO must remain the key guarantor of security in Europe.
"I call on the members of the Alliance to do everything possible, when they draft NATO's new strategic concept, to make sure that the Organisation does not find itself to be merely a forum for discussions on security, but remains a real and true guarantor of security for its members in military, political, and economic terms," President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.
The President informed the North-Atlantic Council of Lithuania's intention to establish a centre of excellence on energy security, which was very favourably accepted by many of the ambassadors. In the lively discussion with the ambassadors of the Alliance's partner countries, the President underlined the importance of open and constructive relations with Russia, emphasising that both sides need to be open and constructive.
The President assured the ambassadors that Lithuania was supporting NATO's open door policy concerning further enlargement.
"We have to apply uniform standards to our new members. A country must demonstrate political will and public support to the membership, and prove to the partners its readiness for the membership and successful implementation of the necessary democratic and economic reforms," the President said.
In the meeting with NATO Secretary General, the President underlined the importance of the air policing mission for the Baltic States. The Secretary General assured the President that it was his personal belief that protection of the Baltic air space was a long-term commitment of the Alliance.
"Lithuania is committed to contribute actively, in cooperation with other Baltic States, to this mission, by guaranteeing logistic and in-kind support to the forces of our partners," President Dalia Grybauskaitė stressed.
According to the President, Lithuania is the only Baltic country that has adequate training facilities for NATO military pilots and this opportunity must be fully made use of. NATO Secretary General highly welcomed Lithuania's contribution in Afghanistan, where Lithuania helps fight against terrorism and reconstruct the Ghor Province.