Lithuanian delegation led by the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had a working visit to the Republic of Turkey. Following a series of meetings and negotiations, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevičius held a press conference on the results of the joint work.
First of all, the Head of the Lithuanian diplomatic corps said that the main aim of the visit to the Republic is to have a dialogue, to listen, to understand and to provide the necessary support to the friendly country. Strongly condemning the sad events of July 15 in Turkey, Linkevičius expressed solidarity with the democratically elected government and the Turkish people in general. He said that Turkey is a key partner of the EU and an important NATO ally.
Mevlut Cavusoglu said that right upon the military coup, the Lithuanian people as well as the President of Lithuania, provided strong support for democratic values in their statements. Ministry of Foreign Affairs has an objective and constructive role within the European Union. And Turkey has always received a lot of support from Lithuania in the process of joining the EU, said the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Such regional issues as Crimea and Ukraine were discussed in the course of the meeting as well. At the press conference, Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey's position regarding Crimea has not changed since the incident with the downed aircraft:
“We took the way of improving relations with Russia. And our position regarding Crimea is the same. It has always been our priority. And we have always worked closely with Lithuania on this issue. Because a lot of the Crimean Tatar people live there as well.”
Lithuania does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, reminded the Head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry. He went on saying that the fight against violation of the Crimean Tatars’ rights will continue at all the international platforms.
Earlier, in a telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the unchanged position of Ankara on the status of Russia-annexed Crimea.