Vilnius, 12 April 2016 - Ambassador Hatem Atallah, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) met on 11 April 2016, in Vilnius, with the Lithuanian ministers of Culture and Foreign Affairs to discuss potential collaborations aiming at strengthening the values of intercultural dialogue in the region, in particular through programmes to empower youth in the region such as the flag-ship Young Arab Voices.
In the meeting, Amb. Atallah spoke about the ALF youth-led programme Young Arab Voices and its expansion towards the northern region of the Mediterranean. Sarunas Birutis, Minister of Culture, highlighted the importance of intercultural dialogue and the central role of cultural institutions in building bridges between the Euro-Mediterranean societies. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevicius, confirmed their commitment and support for the ALF. The Head of the ALF Lithuanian Network presented the cultural project ideas to be implemented in Lithuania.
The meeting took place during the conference on "Integration of new comers in Lithuania and other European countries", organised on 11-12 April by the ALF Lithuanian Network in the framework of the project "Open Doors for Knowledge". Participants in the event included officials, diplomats, experts, professionals from cultural and educational institutions and representatives from the ALF Swedish and UK Networks.
On the second day, participants discussed the issue of refugees' integration and underlined that integration processes need financial, educational and cultural support. The Swedish, UK and Lithuanian ALF Heads of Networks presented experiences of refugees' integration in their countries and talked about the challenges faced by civil societies.