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Spanish defmin coming on 1st visit to Lithuania


    Spanish Defense Minister Jose Antonio Alonso Suarez is coming to Lithuania on Tuesday with the first visit to the Baltic state.

      According to the press release, the meeting between Suarez and Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas will address bilateral cooperation, participation in international operations, NATO's air-policing mission, relations with third countries and other defense policy issues of NATO and the European Union (EU).
      After the meeting, the Spanish delegation will leave for the Lithuanian Air Force aviation base in Zokniai near the country's northern city Siauliai to meet with the Spanish airmen performing the NATO-sanctioned air-policing mission there.
      Spain has sent more than 80 troops and pilots to Lithuania on the four-month mission, which started in the beginning of August. The Spanish aviators are guarding the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian skies with their four supersonic fighters Mirage F-1M, the same type of aircrafts used to guard the Spanish air space.
      Bilateral defense cooperation between Lithuania and Spain has been intensifying over past years. Lithuanian and Spanish troops head provincial reconstruction teams of two neighboring provinces in Afghanistan - Ghor and  Baghdi. In the end of 2005 through the beginning of 2006, the Lithuanian army's water purification unit performed a humanitarian mission in the earthquake-stricken Pakistan in composition of the Spanish battalion's
engineer division. 

was in Lithuania earlier this month.

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