Vilnius, March 11th. President Rolandas Paksas of the Republic of Lithuania received today the signatories of the Act of Independence and signed the instruments of ratification and accession to the North Atlantic Treaty, as well as the letter to US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on depositing the instruments with the Government of the United States of America.
In his address to the signatories, the Lithuanian President expressed condolences to the people of Spain on the tragic terror attacks in Madrid. “On this bright day of spring, when nature seems to congratulate Lithuania, reminding of the glory and grandeur of March 11th, we were shocked by the news about the terror acts in Madrid, which have claimed numerous innocent lives. I strongly condemn these terrorist acts and express me deepest sympathy to all the people of Spain,” President Rolandas Paksas said.
He further congratulated the signatories of the Act of Independence and all the people of Lithuania on March 11th, on which the independence of Lithuania was restored. The Lithuanian leader underlined that March 11th will always be a special day and that this year its significance is ever greater as Lithuania accedes to the North Atlantic Alliance.
Joining the North Atlantic Alliance, President said, is “ the most laudable achievement of our newly reborn state that would not have been possible without March 11th and the five sentences stating the restoration of the state in the Act.”
The President of Republic recalled the historical conditions under which Lithuania restored its independence and those signatories who passed away. “Birute Nedzinskiene, Valerijonas Sadreika, Kazimieras Antanavicius, Ceslovas Kudaba, Jokubas Minkevicius, Gintaras Ramonas and Petras Poskus have left a deep imprint in the history of independent Lithuania and its integration into Europe and the Western community of nations,” President Paksas said.
“Fourteen years have passed since that historic day of March 11th. Past years were marked with difficult trials that we had successfully withstood, and mistakes that we had failed to avoid. Today, when new opportunities open up to us, we should ask ourselves what remains to be done in order to build a better and more secure and less difficult life for our people and to make March 11th a day of true joy and grandeur,” President Paksas said.
He further underlined that “membership of NATO and of European Union is an accomplishment achieved jointly by politicians, diplomats, government institutions and all the people of Lithuania who worked hard to bring Lithuania where it is now.
Also, the President of the Republic attended today a special sitting of the Seimas to commemorate March 11th, the flag raising ceremony in the Independence Square and the Mass in Vilnius Cathedral.
In the evening, the Lithuanian President will take part in the commemorative meeting and the concert in the National Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Press Service of the President