YEREVAN (Armenpress)–“I’m deeply impressed: what the Armenian people went through at the beginning of the past century as one of the greatest tragedies in the world history. The stories we heard in the museum remind me of what my country fellows went through in the 1940s, when Lithuania was under Soviet occupation, when our fathers and grandfathers were exiled and killed,” Lithuanian defense minister Juozas Olekas told Armenian reporters when visiting the Genocide Museum in Yerevan.
Before that he laid a wreath of flowers at the memorial to the Armenian Genocide victims.
“We cannot forget, but we must learn to live with this historic pain and look into future. I’m greatly impressed with all this, since my ancestors were also exiled from Lithuania. I was born in Siberia, and only after 10 years in exile my family returned to homeland . I’m very glad that today independent Armenia and independent Lithuania can be members of the international community and can create and look into future,” Olekas noted.
Armenian President Robert Kocharian met with Olekas.
Presidential press service told Armenpress that during the meeting the president pointed out the dynamically developing Armenian-Lithuanian dialogue and active mutual visits. He highly assessed the level of partnership between the two countries in the defense sphere noting that it is one of the most developed directions of bilateral relations.
During the meeting the sides particularly discussed Armenian-Lithuanian cooperation in the field of reforms of the armed forces. A reference was made to the Armenia’s Euro-integration process.
In the process of implementation of Armenia-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan program the sides underscored the exchange of Lithuania’s experience and practical support.