The Baltic Times
August 9, 2007
From wire reports
VILNIUS – The US has thanked Lithuania for its contribution to the international operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The thanks were given to Lithuania’s Defense Minister Juozas Olekas and Foreign Minister Petras Vaitiekunas, while on a visit to Washington, by Deputy US Defense Secretary Gordon England.
The Defense Ministry reported on Thursday that during the meeting, Lithuania was mentioned as one of the most reliable allies.
The Lithuanian ministers told the U.S. officials that Lithuania would continue its involvement in the international operation in Iraq by sending another fighting unit.
Agreement was also reached that the U.S. will consider helping Lithuania plan and finance infrastructure development projects in the Afghan province of Ghor, where Lithuania is leading a Provincial Reconstruction Team.
Currently there are 238 Lithuanian servicemen and 3 civilians deployed in international operations including Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo.
England also assured the Lithuanian ministers that the U.S. will support the goal of the Baltic states to extend the NATO air policing mission in the Baltics until 2018.