Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda (1st L, Front) and French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L, Front) review a guard of honor in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sept. 28, 2020. Lithuania has made huge progress in the two decades since the last official visit by Jacques Chirac in 2001, visiting French President Emmanuel Macron said here on Monday, referring to one of his predecessors. (Photo by Alfredas Pliadis/Xinhua)
VILNIUS, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania has made huge progress in the two decades since the last official visit by Jacques Chirac in 2001, visiting President Emmanuel Macron said here on Monday, referring to one of his predecessors.
"Thank you for the warm welcome during this difficult time. We try to live with COVID-19, we try to find solutions and move forward," Macron said at a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda after their tete-a-tete meeting.
"Expectations of economic prosperity, of freedom, peace and security have become a reality in Lithuania. This is a major advancement over the last 19 years," the French leader added.
Strategic partnership guidelines between Lithuania and France testify to the importance of joint projects, such as the comprehensive package which will help the EU rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic, Macron said.
"We are working together, and we want to move forward together," the French leader emphasized.
Nauseda noted that their bilateral meeting was "sincere, honest, avoiding any evasions."
Nauseda also expressed gratitude for the contribution of France to enhancing regional security. France took eight rotations in the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission. Currently, 300 French soldiers are deployed to Lithuania.
In their conversation, the presidents also discussed the situation in Belarus, relations with Russia, climate change, digital economy, and economic and cultural cooperation between Lithuania and France.
Lithuania is the first leg of Macron's Baltic visit. He will be off to Latvia on Tuesday. Enditem