Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius will on Monday pay an official visit to Israel where he is scheduled to discuss economic cooperation and cooperation with the Jewish Community of Lithuania.
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During his visit, the Lithuanian prime minister will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.

Lithuania's progress in diversifying export markets will be presented in Israel and ways of attracting foreign investment will be discussed, the Government of Lithuania said.

Lithuania is currently considering buying natural gas from Israel but it would technically be possible only in a few years. Israel has not made any decisions regarding gas exports yet.

Butkevičius is also scheduled to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and meet with Litvaks residing in Israel as well as representatives of Israel's business community.

"Lithuania is particularly interested in promoting bilateral cooperation in the areas of innovation, research, transport, energy, tourism, technology, the synergy of business and science," the Lithuanian prime minister was quoted as saying in the government statement.

According to the Lithuanian government, its cooperation with the Jewish Community of Lithuania will be discussed during the visit, and the prime minister will inform about the progress of the Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports project as well as the issue of tending to the old Šnipiškės Jewish Cemetery.

Some Jewish Orthodox Rabbis have called on the Lithuanian government to cancel the reconstruction of the Vilnius Palace of Concerts and Sports, fearing that it might do damage to the nearby Šnipiškės Jewish Cemetery.

The Jewish Community of Lithuania and the London-based Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe, however, do not object to the project, saying that will not damage the cemetery in any way.

During his visit to Israel, the head of the Lithuanian government will also meet with Palestinian leaders and discuss ways "to ensure regular contact between Lithuanian and Palestinians diplomats," the Lithuanian government said.

BNS
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