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Peres in Lithuania Highlights Reasons for Strong Ties to Israel

President Shimon Peres has been explaining the reasons for strengthening Lithuanian ties with Israel, and why the EU ban on Yesha is wrong.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/1/2013, 2:54 PM

Pres. Peres, Lithuania Pres. Grybauskaite
Pres. Peres, Lithuania Pres. Grybauskaite
GPO/Moshe Milner

During his visit to Lithuania, President Shimon Peres has been explaining the reasons for strengthening the country’s ties with Israel, and why the European Union ban on institutions in Judea, Samaria and areas of Jerusalem restored to the capital after the 1967 Six Day War is wrong.

Peres started his visit with a working visit with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite – who also serves as the current President of the European Union.

Peres thanked the Lithuanian president and its minister of foreign affairs for their support in listing the military wing of Hizbullah as a terrorist entity.

But Israel’s president didn’t back down when it came to criticizing the EU decision to limit its funding of Israeli projects and enterprises to those within pre-1967 lines. 

Peres asked his Lithuanian counterpart to use all her influence to delay implementation of the resolution, saying that if all goes into effect as planned, such a decision would damage the peace process.        

Any future final status agreement, he said, when signed between the two sides, will address all issues, including the borders – thus making the issue of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and Israel’s presence in the regions altogether irrelevant.

“If the EU wants to help the peace process – and it does – it should let the sides work to reach an agreement without pressure,” Peres said.

The Lithuanian president emphasized the importance of her country’s ongoing strong relationship with Israel, and added that maintaining a good relationship between them was also important to the EU.

She praised Israel as a model of innovation, which is one of the reasons, she said, that Lithuania is interested in enhancing its bilateral relations.