Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas: the US remains Lithuania’s key strategic ally
Press release, 19 May 2017
Photos of the Office of the Seimas (author Olga Posaškova)
On 19 May 2017, Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, met with General Raymond A. Thomas III, Commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Participants of the meeting discussed topical matters pertaining to security and defence, strategic partnership between the American and Lithuanian special operations forces, and the US assistance for Lithuania in building and developing defence capabilities.
“The US remains Lithuania’s key strategic ally in ensuring our national security. Lithuania and the US are connected by firm friendship, defence of shared values, and mutual respect and support. We are united by strategic partnership and aspirations for regional and international security. We make every effort to be ready to counter a potential aggressor. The political will is also here, since our political parties strongly support our plans to increase defence spending, which is expected to reach 2.07% of GDP next year,” the Speaker of the Seimas said.
USSOCOM is a strategic-level command and plays a significant role in the US military structure. The Command coordinates and leads regional commands and units of the US special operations forces deployed overseas across the world. USSOCOM is also a crucial institution working on matters pertaining to regional security, defence, cooperation with partners, and international operations. It contributes substantially to the development of capabilities of the Special Operations Forces of the Lithuanian Armed Forces (LAF SOF) as well as their successful cooperation on both national defence and international operations. The importance of Lithuania’s role is illustrated by the establishment of the LAF SOF Liaison Officer’s position within USSOCOM a couple of years ago.
Dalia Vencevičienė, Senior Adviser to the Speaker of the Seimas, tel. +370 5 239 6016, mob. +370 698 42 071, e-mail: [email protected]