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Official visit of the President Dalia Grybauskaitė to Rome
President Dalia Grybauskaitė is coming for an official visit to Rome. On Thursday, March 28, the President will meet with Pope Francis, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, and Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, President of the Italian Senate. On Friday, March 29, Dalia Grybauskaitė will meet with the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, and take part in the opening of a new Lithuanian embassy building.
On behalf of the Lithuanian people, the President will thank the Holy Father for his recent visit to Lithuania, which was a special gift to our country on the occasion of its national centennial. She will also express gratitude for the papal focus on the history of our nation and for the extraordinary sense of togetherness enjoyed by all during the Pope’s apostolic journey this past September.
At their meeting, the Presidents of Lithuania and Italy will discuss mutually relevant issues as well as matters related to the EU’s future, Brexit, defense, and bilateral cooperation. President Sergio Mattarella paid a state visit to Lithuania on July 6 last year to congratulate its people on independence centennial.
Italy is an active contributor to the security of the Baltic States – the Italian Air Force conducted two Baltic Air Policing missions and Italian troops are deployed to NATO’s forward presence in Latvia. Lithuania’s economic relations with Italy are expanding: Italy is Lithuania’s eighth biggest trade partner.
Thursday afternoon, the President will open a new Lithuanian embassy in Rome. After many decades since losing Villa Lituania, our country has a representative building in the Italian capital again. Prolonged highest level contacts and diplomatic efforts eventually resulted in an agreement between Lithuania and Italy, signed in 2013, granting premises for the Lithuanian Embassy in Rome for 99 years at a symbolic fee of 1 euro.