Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius – first Lithuanian Premier to visit Palestine


2015 09 07


As part of the visit to Palestine, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius has met earlier today with Paletinian leaders – President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. The meetings focused on bilateral political and diplomatic relations, prospects of economic cooperation, and mutual commitment to establish an intergovernmental economic cooperation committee.

“I am happy to be the first Lithuanian Prime Minister to have officially visitted Palestine. Lithuania aims to strengthen cooperation with this country, and have a closer look at what is happening here. I am sure that our dialogue will help us ensure regular contacts between Lithuanian and Palestinian diplomats, and we certainly look forward to the visit of your representatives in our country”, said the Prime Minister, and invited the Palestinian counterpart to visit Lithuania.

The Head of Government noted that the opening of a Palestinian representative office in Vilnius would be of significant leap forward in the relations. “We welcome these plans, as it would make history as the first Arab Representation in Lithuania. 

On economic cooperation, the Prime Minister pointed out Lithuania's focus on innovation, creativity, science and technologies. “International ratings confirm progress in our business environment. The World Bank 2015 report ranked Lithuania 24th among 189 countries in the world by ease of doing business, and 15th ease to pursue an economic activity”, said the Prime Minister inviting the Palestinian Prime Minister to explore investment opportunities in Lithuania.

The Prime Minister also noted that Lithuanian food, furniture, chemical and other industries are interested in exports to Palestine. “We can offer high-quality dairy products, meat, fish, confectionery, breakfast cereals, soft drinks”, said the Prime Minister.

The Head of Government invited the Palestinian Prime Minister to visit the largest in the Baltic region international agricultural and food industry exhibition AgroBalt, to be held in March-April 2016.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah thanked Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius for the invitation and put forward an idea of establishing an intergovernmental economic cooperation committee. It was agreed that the committee could go deeper into issues of cooperation in the fields of tourism and trade.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss development cooperation, partnership in international organizations, the Middle East peace process, the need to step up cooperation in cultural and educational fields.