At the invitation of President Dalia Grybauskaitė, President Sergio Mattarella of Italy is coming to Lithuania on a state visit on July 5-6. The leaders will focus on enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between Lithuania and Italy in the EU and NATO. At the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the presidents will open an international exhibition of Renaissance and Baroque Florence. On July 6, they will attend a ceremony of hoisting the flags of the three Baltic States in Simonas Daukantas Square.
Diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Italy date back to the 15th century when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania maintained intense contacts with the Republic of Venice. Now Italy is a close defense ally, a partner in the EU as well as an important and growing export market. The state visit of the President of Italy opens more avenues for strengthening cooperation in defense, economics and culture.
The Presidents will discuss security situation in Europe and national objectives in the run up to NATO summit. Italy stands guard over the southern flank of Europe; therefore, it clearly understands the threats posed to our region and assists in countering them. Italian troops have been part of the multinational NATO battalion in Latvia and have repeatedly served in the Baltic Air Policing mission.
Migration challenges hit hard on Italy and for that reason, European response to illegal migration will be discussed at the presidents’ meeting. President Sergio Mattarella of Italy who is regarded as political and moral authority of the country is a dedicated European; therefore, the leaders will discuss the future of Europe and ways to be united in meeting the challenges encountered by the EU.
The Presidents will also focus on enhancing bilateral cultural relations. At the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the leaders will visit the international exhibition of “Renaissance and Baroque Florence” that reflects the long-standing bonds of Lithuanian and Italian art and people. The heads of state are also the patrons of the exhibition “Masterpieces of the History of the Veneration of St. Casimir: Lithuania-Italy” at the Church Heritage Museum of the Archdiocese of Vilnius. Contemporary Lithuanian art, theater, opera and classical music performed by our artists enjoys success in Italy.
To honor the Centennial of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania, the President of Italy will attend a ceremony of hoisting the flags of the three Baltic states in Simonas Daukantas Square on July 6.
During the state visit, the President of Italy will be accompanied by his daughter Laura Mattarella and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is the first state visit of the President of Italy to Lithuania.