of the
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23 April 1998


by NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana


Today we are honoured to welcome the President of Lithuania, Mr. VALDUS ADAMKUS, to this meeting with the North Atlantic Council in the framework of the Intensified Dialogue. Allow me also to congratulate you upon your recent election as President of the Republic. I am sure that under your tenure as President, Lithuania's relationship with NATO will continue to flourish.

Lithuania has proved a valuable Partner in our cooperative endeavours through its contribution to the creation and continuing implementation of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and its significant participation in the Partnership for Peace. Recent Lithuanian initiatives to inform other EAPC members of regional cooperation activities in the Baltic Sea region have been very timely and welcome. Lithuania's contribution to bringing peace to the Former Yugoslavia indicates its strong European vocation and its willingness to contribute to the security challenges that face us in Europe today.

Today's dialogue builds on the six Individual Dialogue sessions held with Lithuania over the past two years. Through the dialogue and the efforts of Ambassador Linkevicius and his staff we have gained a much clearer understanding of Lithuania's efforts in the political and military sphere, and we look forward to receiving more information today and through further Intensified Dialogue meetings with the NATO Team.


NATO Heads of States and Government at their Madrid Summit pledged that the Alliance will remain open to the accession of further members in accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty and the terms set out in Paragraph 8 of the Madrid Summit Declaration. This dialogue session is an expression of our commitment to NATO's continued openness.

President Adamkus, once again, welcome. May I now invite the acting Dean of the Council to say a few words. Ambassador von Richthofen.

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