VILNIUS: 8th India-Lithuania Foreign Office Consultations

VILNIUS: 8th India-Lithuania Foreign Office Consultations

VILNIUS: The 8th round of Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between India and Lithuania was held on 16 March 2022 in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Additional Secretary (Central Europe) in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Lithuanian side was led by Mr. Audrius Brūzga, Director General of Latin America, Africa, Asia and Pacific Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.

India and Lithuania share warm and friendly relations based on shared values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and respect for human rights. Both sides acknowledged that 2022 is of great significance, as it marks 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relations which also coincides with the celebrations of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

The Foreign Office Consultations provided an opportunity to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including high level visits and further strengthening of our partnership in diverse areas such as trade and investment, research & development, digital cooperation, education and agricultural processing. Both sides agreed to explore cooperation in new areas like space, biotechnology, laser technology, renewable energy, fintech, LNG infrastructure, startups, health and pharmaceuticals.

The Indian side invited the Lithuanian side to join the International Solar Alliance. The Lithuanian side reiterated their request for opening of an Indian mission in Vilnius.

Both sides discussed the need for greater mobility between both countries, including movement of students and professionals. In this context, the Indian side requested the Lithuanian side to recognise Covaxin and to consider a mutual recognition agreement on Covid-19 vaccination certificates. The Indian side took note of the ‘Start Up Visas’ and ‘Blue Card’ initiatives of the Lithuanian government to further facilitate the movement of business persons and professionals.

Both sides exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific, India-EU Partnership and the Ukraine situation.

The Lithuanian Delegation also paid a courtesy call on Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi and Sh. Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West). Both sides agreed to hold the next round of the Foreign Office Consultations in Vilnius on a mutually convenient date.

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