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2021.07.29 09:25

Lithuanian president convenes party leaders after meeting anti-migrant protesters

Ignas Jačauskas2021.07.29 09:25

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda is meeting with Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and parliamentary party leaders to discuss migration crisis management and foreign policy.

On the eve of the meeting, Nausėda made an unannounced visit to Dieveniškės, a town in the south-eastern corner of the country where plans to house a migrant centre triggered protests from the local population.

Read more: Lithuanian town holds vigils to protest plans for migrant camp

Nausėda said he wanted to directly listen to the concerns of the locals.

“Tomorrow, party leaders and I will discuss a united position and solutions to the migration crisis,” the president posted on Facebook on Wednesday evening.

“This is not a problem only for the government, a few municipalities or a few local communities. This is a problem for the whole of Lithuania which can only be successfully solved by us together,” he added.

Earlier this week, Nausėda said he was inviting parliamentary party leaders to agree on common foreign policy principles.

“What's been happening lately reminds me of some amateur adjustment of the foreign policy course, [...] and it's totally unacceptable,” he said.

Lithuania has been facing an unprecedented influx of irregular migrants in recent months. Over 3,000 people have been detained crossing into the country from Belarus in the last several months.

The government is planning to relocate migrants currently housed in border stations and municipal housing to several larger camps, but is facing active resistance from part of the local population.

Lithuanian officials maintain that the crossings are facilitated by the Belarusian government.

Read more: Scuffles break out as activists block road to would-be migrant camp in Lithuania

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