Agreement on exhibiting the Act of Independence of 16 February signed in Berlin
On 5 October in Berlin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius and Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel signed an agreement on exhibiting in Lithuania the Act of Reinstating Independence of Lithuania of 16 February. The ceremony was attended by the Professor Liudas Mažylis, who discovered the document in the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) of Germany. Pursuant to this agreement, the document will be exhibited in Lithuania for five years.
“Next year, Lithuania will celebrate the centenary of the restoration of the State of Lithuania. Therefore, I am glad that an authentic Act of Reinstating Independence of Lithuania designated for Germany, written namely on 16 February 1918 and signed by all members of the Council of Lithuania in the Lithuanian and German languages will be exhibited in Vilnius. We really appreciate the opportunity that Germany gave us,” said Linkevičius.
Linkevičius thanked Germany for its generosity of spirit in negotiating the exhibiting of the document in Lithuania, also all Lithuanian institutions that were involved in the negotiations, the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and, of course, the Professor Liudas Mažylis, who had discovered the document.
According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, the two countries share a long and meaningful history, and maintain close ties. The name of Lithuania was mentioned for the first time in writing namely in the Annals of Quedlinburg in Germany more than a thousand years ago. In the 16th century, the first book in the Lithuanian language was published in Königsberg, Prussia. The first Lithuanian newspaper was published in Königsberg as well. Germany was also the first country to recognize Lithuania as an independent state in 1918.
“Today, our countries enjoy close bilateral relations, share common values and interests based on their membership in NATO, the EU, and in other international formats. In addition, Germany plays a vital role in ensuring security in the region and in forming the NATO multinational battalion in Lithuania,” said Linkevičius.