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President of Lithuania receives Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 23/05/2009: 804 views

Vilnius - President Valdas Adamkus of Lithuania received yesterday Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates H.H. Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Abdullah conveyed to President Adamkus greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President Adamkus welcomed Sheikh Abdullah and emphasised the importance of cooperation between the Baltic region states and the United Arab Emirates as well as other GCC countries. He pointed out that this visit by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the first ever visit by an official of such high ranking from the United Arab Emirates to Lithuania.

President Adamkus said that Lithuania was seriously considering establishing its diplomatic representation in the rapidly growing and dynamic GCC countries, most probably in the United Arab Emirates - the region's financial and economic center. He suggested that the United Arab Emirates also discuss the prospects of opening a diplomatic mission in Lithuania.

"I see many options for the development of contacts between our two countries in the fields of science, culture, economy, and energy," Adamkus was quoted as saying by the Lithuanian News Agency (ELTA).

President Adamkus invited business people from the United Arab Emirates to invest more actively in Lithuania, particularly in such sectors as biotechnology, information technologies, and infrastructure.

He pointed out that the UAE might be interested in Lithuania's plans to import liquefied natural gas via a LNG terminal that it intended to build.

Among the other issues discussed during the meeting were cooperation options for Lithuania and the UAE to develop civil projects in Afghanistan.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan underlined that his country highly valued Lithuania's contribution in Afghanistan and the activities and work performed by Lithuanian servicemen in Ghor Province.

President Adamkus invited the United Arab Emirates to collaborate in the reconstruction of Ghor Province and together implement civil projects.

"Lithuania is determined to continue its activities in Afghanistan because we are strongly committed to the spread of democratic values and human rights. We also feel responsible before the people of Afghanistan," Adamkus said.

Afterwards, Sheikh Abdullah was received by Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius. He conveyed to him greetings Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral relations and ways to boost them.

Sheikh Abdullah expressed his belief that there were many possibilities of the development of bilateral relations.

He said that the successful talks that have already started between the UAE and Lithuania on the avoidance of double taxation and promotion of investments as well as security contracts would encourage the UAE businessmen to pay more attention to Lithuania.

Sheikh Abdullah also met with his Lithuanian counterpart Vygaudas Usackas and exchanged with him views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

At the meeting, the ministers signed a memorandum of cooperation establishing the political consultations between the ministries.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE may re-consider joining the GCC monetary union if the current terms changed.

"At the moment the terms are unacceptable for the UAE, and that's why we decided not to join," Sheikh Abdullah said.

"When I say the terms, the UAE was the first country supposed to host the central bank, and we believe we had the right to do so. It did not happen," he added.

Sheikh Abdullah indicated that up until last year, only the UAE had been a contender to host the GCC central bank.

"We will hope for all the best for the others who have joined the monetary union, and, as I've said, if the terms are different, we would look into it positively." – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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