Tag Archives: US ambassador for Lithuania

U.S. Ambassador Anne Hall: 100 years of U.S.-Lithuania Friendship

This is a special year for Lithuania. As the country celebrates the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of its independence, the United States Embassy is pleased to mark this milestone with a special museum exhibit showcasing 100 years of U.S.-Lithuanian friendship through photos, stories, and multimedia. On April 17, the grand opening of the exhibit is at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library; from Vilnius, the exhibit will travel to over ten locations throughout Lithuania. We are extremely grateful to the dedicated staff at the Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library and American Fulbright Scholar Charles Perrin for their partnership in this endeavor. I hope everyone who visits the exhibit walks away with a deep appreciation of our shared history and values.

Lithuania has overcome so much in the last 100 years. After regaining independence in 1918, Lithuania suffered through another brutal World War and the devastating Soviet occupation that followed. But today, Lithuania has assumed international roles that could have only been dreamed of 25 years ago. It has led the European Union and the United Nations Security Council, and met the NATO benchmark of 2% of GDP on defense spending. It has become a European leader in energy diversification and independence, developed successful industries in the life sciences, biotech, and IT sectors, and has a thriving innovation ecosystem. These are extraordinary accomplishments for any country, and especially so given the short amount of time that has passed since Lithuania regained its sovereignty.

Today, the relationship between Lithuania and the U.S. is the strongest it has ever been. The recent U.S.-Baltic Presidential Summit is a clear signal of the importance of the Baltic states for President Trump and the American people. The Summit was the latest in a series of recent high-level engagements, including with Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis, and numerous high-ranking congressional leaders. Furthermore, the Joint Declaration that all four presidents released during the Summit affirms our continued collaboration in the areas of security, business, and cultural ties.

The U.S. and Lithuania will continue to partner to confront threats to our mutual security interests. This summer more than 5,000 U.S. troops will join multinational forces in the Saber Strike 2018 military exercise, the largest event of its kind to ever take place in the Baltics. Saber Strike and other bilateral military cooperation will definitively demonstrate our commitment to Baltic and European security and NATO’s Article V of the Washington Treaty. Our collective defense will remain ironclad. In addition to ongoing U.S. troop rotations in Lithuania, the U.S. will continue to provide assistance for training and equipment to improve Lithuania’s defensive capabilities. An important element of that support is the 25-year relationship between the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

The economic ties and trade that Lithuania and the U.S. enjoy is another area that benefits from our strong relationship. In the past seven years, U.S. companies created more Lithuanian jobs through investment than any other country; today, 85 U.S. companies in Lithuania employ 11,500 people. The U.S. is Lithuania’s 5th largest export market. During the Business Summit that ran during the U.S.-Baltic Presidential Summit in Washington, over 300 U.S. companies participated, recognizing the potential of doing business in the Baltics. Freeport LNG of Texas got things started by signing agreements with two Lithuanian firms.

Our shared values and democratic ideals are strengthened through people-to-people connections. I am proud of the work the U.S. Embassy has done to expand and deepen these connections through our public outreach, cultural events, and exchange programs. In this centennial year, the U.S. State Department has committed to sending 100 youth from the Baltic countries on various exchange programs to the U.S. Engaging with each other will build the friendship and partnership of the 21st century.

Source: en.delfi.lt

Ambassador Hall’s Remarks at Press Conference for the Samuel Bak Museum Opening – Silvija Travel T

Ambassador Hall’s Remarks at Press Conference for the Samuel Bak Museum Opening on the 15 November 2017.

lt is a great privilege for me to be here today.  The opening of the Samuel Bak Museum in Lithuania is a historic milestone for U.S.-Lithuanian friendship.  We are enormously grateful to the Vilna Gaon Jewish Museum and the Pucker Gallery in the United States for their phenomenal efforts in making this event happen, and many others who have supported this project over many years, including many U.S.  Ambassadors before me – and, most importantly, the artist himself, Samuel Bak.  There is nothing more gratifying for me than to see years of vision and hard work come to fruition.  I am honored to be among such esteemed company.

The Samuel Bak museum showcases the work and life of a truly extraordinary American Litvak artist, and one of the world’s greatest living artists.  We are immensely indebted to Mr. Bak for his life’s work, for his deep connection to Vilnius, for his genius, and for the sheer humanity that he expresses so eloquently through his work.

Sam Bak, we are so proud that you are an American, and that you treasure your connection to Vilnius so strongly that you are entrusting this community with many precious pieces of your life’s work.  You truly represent what is best about both our countries, and you are  making our world a more compassionate and wiser place to live.  We are proud to share you with Lithuania and will celebrate with you later today when you are made an honorary citizen of Vilnius.

It is a great honor and privilege for the U.S. Embassy to have played a role in the creation of this museum.  On both sides of the Atlantic, in the U.S. and in Lithuania, there have always been ardent supporters of Mr. Bak’s work.  They appreciate not only its significant artistic merits, but the artist’s amazing power to communicate the human experience of tragedy and hope.  It is deeply meaningful that his work now has a home here in Vilnius.

We are indebted to the efforts of the Lithuanian government, its cultural and educational institutions, as they embrace and commemorate the Jewish history and culture of this country.  We also commend the people of Lithuania as they discover and reconnect with the voices of their past that have been lost, erased, or blurred.  The permanent display of Samuel Bak’s work in Vilnius is an important step in our joint effort to appreciate the vibrant life that thrived here once and continues to live through his amazing art.

Thank you, Mr. Bak, for sharing your incredible vision with us.  Thanks to you, generations of Lithuanians and Americans will be inspired by it.

Source:    | 15 November, 2017