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Sen. Dick Durbin in Lithuania: Will address Lithuanian Parliament

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below, from Durbin...


January 12, 2010

DURBIN TRAVELS TO LITHUANIA
Will Address Lithuanian Parliament Thursday

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) is in Vilnius, Lithuania where he will conduct three days of high-level meetings with Lithuanian officials and address the Lithuanian Parliament. Durbin arrived in Vilnius this morning and will return to the U.S. on Saturday.

Durbin, the highest ranking Lithuanian-American in the U.S. government, will address the Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) on Thursday, January 13. Durbin will mark the 20th anniversary of the Day of the Defenders of Freedom, the day when Soviet forces converged on Vilnius following it's declaration of independence in a final attempt to hold on to its crumbling empire.

Nearly twenty-one years ago, Durbin was part of an official delegation to Vilnius to monitor the historic election of an independent government. Those elections started the process towards the freedom Lithuania enjoys today.

While in Vilnius, Durbin plans to meet with Lithuanian President Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Kubilius, and Speaker of Seimas Irena Degutine in addition to participating in a number of events commemorating the Day of the Defenders of Freedom.

Durbin's mother was born in Jurbarkas, Lithuania and came to the U.S. as a child. Durbin has maintained a strong tie to his mother's native country and has visited numerous times throughout his life.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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