International Jewish dignitary received at the Government Office

2017 09 05
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While visiting Lithuania, Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, Robert Singer, visited the Office of the Government and met with Deividas Matulionis, Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister. 

The topics of the meeting included the fight against anti-Semitism, the prospects of cooperation in the areas of foreign policy and security and other issues relevant for the Lithuanian Jewish community.

Mr Singer thanked Lithuania for close partnership. “Israel is living in a difficult political atmosphere. Therefore, the entire Jewish nation is looking for friends these days. Lithuania has always been such a friend for Israel and the Jewish community”, said the Vice President of the World Jewish Congress.

The situation of the Vilnius Sports Arena was also discussed. Deividas Matulionis recalled that an arrangement had been reached back in 2009 with the Jewish Community of Lithuania and the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe concerning the conditions of protecting the old Jewish cemetery in Šnipiškės. Mr Matulionis made assurances that the construction of a new convention centre at the location of the former sports arena will proceed in strict observance of the above arrangement. 

“Please have no doubt that we will coordinate all the steps in advance with the Jewish Community of Lithuania and with the international organisations working for the protection of Jewish cemeteries”, assured the Prime Minister’s Adviser Deividas Matulionis.

He highlighted the Government’s resolve to prevent all forms of anti-Semitism in Lithuania. “Anti-Semitism has presented a problem for a number of countries, Lithuania including. Fortunately, anti-Semitism is declining, while interest in the history of Jews in Lithuania is on the rise, together with better public awareness of the Holocaust tragedy in Lithuania. In that regard, major credit is due to the Jewish Community of Lithuania. We are making every effort to extend this progress into the future. I believe that our joint efforts have borne fruit”, noted the Adviser to the Prime Minister. 

Other topics discussed during the meeting included the adequate attention devoted to Holocaust commemoration in Lithuanian schools’ curricula as well as the granting of an extra pension to the “Righteous Among the Nations” in Lithuania, which probably leads Europe in the number of people awarded with this honorary title, if measured per capita.