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Remarks by Algirdas M. Brazauskas, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Dear President, ladies and gentlemen,

today we are signing the particularly important document with the United States of America, with which we not only share common values, but are also linked by a number of American Lithuanians who have found home in the United States. The Charter of Partnership establishes the institutional framework that promotes the furtherance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, reciprocal support to the Euro-Atlantic integration, and common efforts designed for the consolidation of security, prosperity and stability within the region and the Euro-Atlantic area as a whole.

The U.S.-Baltic Charter confirms repeatedly that Lithuania is a serious candidate for accession to NATO, as well as that the United States supports the Baltic states' aspirations and their efforts to become members of the Alliance.

Lithuania values the Charter first and foremost as the commitment to its further role as the promoter of stability within our region and Europe as a whole; its commitment to progress, economic reforms, and further enhancement of defense system effectiveness and interoperability with the North Atlantic Alliance. We appreciate and are supportive of President Clinton's and the U.S. role of leadership in opening up to Central European democracies the doors to history's most successful alliance. It is our hope that this openness to new members will enhance the security and stability for all the present and aspiring members, as well as other European nations.

Thank you. (Applause.)


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