Netanyahu meets Lithuanian counterpart

Meeting is a continuation of Netanyahu's August 2018 visit to Lithuania.

Ben Ariel,

Binyamin Netanyahu and Saulius Skvernelis
Binyamin Netanyahu and Saulius Skvernelis
Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday evening met with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.

The meeting was in continuation of Prime Minister Netanyahu's August 2018 visit to Lithuania and was also attended by Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Virginijus Sinkevicius.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting, "This is your first visit to Israel as Prime Minister of Lithuania and I remember your last visit in 2015 as Minister of the Interior. During that visit, you met with officials from Israel's National Cyber Security Authority and you expressed some interest in deepening our cooperation in cyber-security.”

“This morning we were both at the Cybertech Tel Aviv, which is Israel's leading cyber-security conference. And yesterday, our two countries signed a declaration of intent to increase our cooperation in cyber-security. This is just one example of the growing cooperation between us. It's significant and it's heartwarming,” continued Netanyahu.

“There was a great familiarity and we have a lot of common interests, which we want to discuss in this meeting: in the economy, in trade, in tourism, in technology.”

“I discovered in my visit that Lithuania is a world power in laser technology. It was, I think 10% of the lasers in the world are produced in Lithuania. This immediately made an impression on me because I know that everything that we do in automotive technology, many of the things are related to lasers and there's an immediate fit that I believe could take place. But I think this applies in many other areas. We have, I think, a brilliant future in cooperating together,” Netanyahu said.

“But equally I think we also know the tragedies of the past. Seventy years ago, Israel came into being. Before that, the Jewish people were utterly defenseless, as happened also in Lithuania. Ninety-five percent of the Jewish community there, an incredible Jewish community, was murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators,” he continued.

“That has changed. Israel is now, as you know, a secure, powerful country. It's not that we lack enemies. Iran again called for our destruction yesterday. We're not oblivious to these threats but we're not impressed by them either because we know our powers in defense and our powers of offense and these are geared to safeguarding not only our state but our common civilization, our common freedoms, our common values. And in that sense, our cooperation serves a wider purpose, I believe.”

“I want to welcome you in this spirit of friendship. I want to assure you that there's great sympathy and a great desire to see our relations expand. There are many Israelis of Lithuanian descent, you are talking to one of them, but this is a bridge from the past to a future. And I welcome you here to Jerusalem and say: Next year in Jerusalem as well," concluded Netanyahu.