The following news release has been republished here courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense of Republic of Lithuania
On November 30 Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė met with the Minister for Kosovo Security Forces Fehmi Mujota.
During the meeting the Ministers agreed on priorities of further cooperation and on potential sectors of the Kosovo Security Forces to receive Lithuania's support. The meeting Ministers also remarked the noticeable advance in stabilisation of security situation in the Republic of Kosovo as well as in formation of democratic future institutions of the country on the basis of the variety of ethnic groups. The officials also stressed the success of the recent municipal elections the second tour of which are coming in December.
Minister of National Defence R. Juknevičienė highlighted the importance of regional cooperation in creation of security and good neighbourhood relations.
After the meeting ministerial representatives of both countries signed a MoU on cooperation that covers development of bilateral relations in the fields of ensuring international security and stability, education and training, crisis management, international operations, emergency management, and others.
Commenting the agreement R. Juknevičienė ensured Minister F. Mujota that Lithuania will continue providing opportunities for Kosovar military representatives to study in military education institutions and will encourage involvement of other Baltic States into the cooperation.
Minister of Kosovo Security Forces thanked for support and stressed bilateral cooperation: "We will continue developing relations between the two nations and institutions. The Memorandum of Understanding that we signed today is a great piece of news for people of the Balkan region and an opportunity to acquire from other countries including Lithuania," said Minister of Kosovo Security Forces. "Lithuania is the first country I am visiting as a member of the Government of Kosovo and this agreement will deepen bilateral relations and step up cooperation."
After the meeting in MoND delegation of Kosovo left for the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to meet with Arvydas Anušauskas, Chairman of the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Seimas. Later in the agenda a meeting with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Evaldas Ignatavičius is planned.
On December 1 F. Mujota will visit Gen. Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian Military Academy and meet with Commandant Brig. Gen. Edvardas Mažeikis and will also take part in graduation and decoration ceremony of the Junior Staff Officer Course (Lithuanian Military Academy) that a Kosovar military representative has attended. One representative of the Kosovo Security Forces attends International English Language Course.
Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania recognised independence of the Republic of Kosovo - former province of Yugoslavia - in May 2008, Government of Lithuania launched diplomatic relations with Kosovo in the same year.
From 1999 for almost a decade troops of Lithuania have been taking part in KFOR operation in Kosovo in composition of joint Polish and Ukrainian Battalion POLUKRBAT. Lithuania terminated participation in KFOR in June 2009. Currently 5 Lithuanian military instructors take part in NATO Training Team-Kosovo (NTT-K). According to a schedule Lithuanian soldiers will be withdrawn from the mission before the beginning of 2010.
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