"Lithuania is interested in the successful development of transport and energy infrastructure projects connecting the Baltic and Black Sea regions," President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė said at the meeting with Turkish Minister for EU Affairs, Egemen Bağiş.
The President invited Turkey to join the trilateral agreement between Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine concerning the construction of a transport corridor from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, which provides for freight carriage between Odessa and Klaipėda seaports by the container train, Viking.
"The extension of the Viking line to Turkey would benefit carriers of the countries concerned. Freight carriage by transit is subject to simplified customs procedures and cheaper carriage tariffs; moreover, this type of carriage is faster than carriage by road. Among other advantages of the extension of the Viking line to Turkey would be higher cargo flows and better usage of the Klaipėda Seaport capacities. This would promote business development and establishment of logistic centres," President Dalia Grybauskaitė said at the meeting.
Another topic discussed was Lithuanian-Turkish bilateral relations. President Dalia Grybauskaitė thanked the Turkish Government for taking prompt action in response to the Lithuanian President's earlier request to introduce a visa-free regime for Lithuanian citizens travelling to Turkey for tourism purposes. Turkey granted the visa-free regime to Lithuania effective from November 2009.
In addition to bilateral relations between Lithuania and Turkey, the parties of the meeting discussed Turkey's European integration prospects, cooperation within NATO, and the Nabucco gas pipeline project.
According to the President, Turkey must continue the EU pre-accession process and carry out fundamental domestic reforms, especially ensure the freedom of speech, press and belief, and gender equality.
Press Service of the President