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Lithuanian PM not obliged to meet with Palestinians during Israel visit, spokesman says

VILNIUS – Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis' recent visit to Israel was dedicated to one country and he cannot be obliged during it to also give attention to the Palestinian National Authority, his spokesman Tomas Berzinskas says.

Responding to the recent Palestinian diplomatic note over the fact that Skvernelis ignored Palestine during his recent visit to Israel, Berzinskas said "the Prime Minister of an independent like Lithuania has the right to choose where to go."

"The way it is now, and will be in the future. The head of government travelled to Israel this time. It was a short and intensive visit, dedicated to one country. There is no and cannot be obligation for the Prime Minister or any other Lithuanian officials to necessarily visit Palestine during such a visit," he said.

Berzinskas also stressed that Lithuania's position on "the two-state solution", which envisages an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, "remains unchanged."

During his visit to Israel earlier this week, Skvernelis did not visit the Palestinian territory, despite Lithuania's other leaders usually visiting Ramallah.

Earlier in the day, Lithuanian received a Palestinian diplomatic note over the fact that Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon accompanied Skvernelis to the Wailing Wall in Eastern Jerusalem but the Lithuanian Prime Minister did not visit the Palestinian territory.

Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon has posted a photo on Facebook, showing him accompanying Skvernelis to the Wailing Wall in Eastern Jerusalem.

Palestinian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Amal Jadou told BNS Lithuania on Friday the Lithuanian Prime Minister violated international law and the EU practice during his recent visit to Israel, and "it sends a very negative message to the Palestinian people."

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