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From 24 to 26 October 2022, Their Majesties the King and the Queen of the Belgians will pay a state visit to Lithuania.
The Belgian Sovereigns will be accompanied by several ministers and minister-presidents :
- Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Foreign Trade and Federal Cultural Institutions, Ms Hadja Lahbib ;
- Minister-President of Wallonia, Mr Elio Di Rupo;
- Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region, Mr Rudi Vervoort;
- Minister-President of Flanders, Mr Jan Jambon;
- Minister-President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Mr Pierre-Yves Jeholet ;
In addition, representatives of academic institutions and business leaders will also participate.
Belgium and Lithuania are celebrating the 100th anniversary of their bilateral relations. Belgium recognised the Republic of Lithuania on 27 December 1922, but not its later annexation by the Soviet Union. This State Visit pays tribute to a century of solidarity and good relations between the two countries, bilaterally and as partners in international organisations and forums, such as the European Union and NATO, both of which Lithuania joined in 2004.
The State Visit will also focus on military cooperation between Belgium and Lithuania. Since 2004, Belgium has participated in NATO missions in Lithuania (and the other Baltic states), including the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Rukla and Pabradé. In this way, our country contributes to the security of the Baltic states. H.M. the King will visit the Belgian military present in Pabradé.
Above all, a State visit provides an opportunity to deepen relations between the two countries with a view resolutely focused on the future. A main economic theme will be the green and digital transition, with particular attention on the energy dependence on Russia. Lithuania finds in Belgium an experienced and reliable partner for the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency regarding buildings and off-shore wind energy.
Academically and culturally, the focus will be on further developing partnerships between Belgian and Lithuanian academic and higher education institutions. The King and Queen will also attend academic activities organised by representatives of the Communities.
During the three days of the state visit, the Sovereigns and the Belgian delegation will visit Vilnius and Kaunas and meet with the highest Lithuanian authorities. Kaunas is European capital of culture for 2022. Serving as capital of Lithuania during the interwar period, Kaunas flourished as an architectural and cultural hotspot for art deco and modernism. Today there is an artistic exchange with Kortrijk design region. Kaunas also hosts the museum dedicated to the Lithuanian composer, writer and painter Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis.
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