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Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius on Thursday asked his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, to return an original copy of Lithuania's Act of Independence of February 16, 1918 that has been found in Berlin's diplomatic archives, to Vilnius.
Sigmar Gabriel and Angela Merkel
Sigmar Gabriel and Angela Merkel
© AP / Scanpix

"I told him that it is one of the most important historical documents for us and that we would like it to go back to Lithuania," Linkevičius told BNS on Thursday evening.

The Lithuanian minister said that he had had a telephone conversation with Gabriel, adding that the two ministers planned to continue their discussion on this issue on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels on Friday

Linkevičius said that the German minister had promised to bring a facsimile of the document to Brussels and to provide more information about the legal situation.

He said that Gabriel had also promised to help Lithuanian researchers to get access to documents related to the restoration of independence.

Liudas Mažylis, a political science professor at Vytautas Magnus University, found the copy of the Council of Lithuania's resolution on the restoration of an independent state of Lithuania in the German Foreign Ministry's archives on Wednesday.

Historians believe that Jurgis Saulys, one of the 20 signatories, handed the copy to German diplomats 99 years ago. It is thought that several original copies of the resolution were signed, but the whereabouts of the others are unknown.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė said earlier on Thursday that her team had contacted German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office and were looking at how and when the document could be returned to Lithuania.

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