President Michael D Higgins has said he will clarify his future intentions early in July.

Mr Higgins said he has had a "period which has been very valuable to me on both reflecting myself on what I undertook as President, but also of hearing the opinions of people as to what I should do next and I will clarify that in July."

He was speaking in Vytautas Magnus University in the Lithuanian capital, Kaunus, where was conferred with an honorary doctorate.

Mr Higgins praised the "deep historical roots" between Ireland and Lithuania and called for small nations to be at the heart of European policy-making.

In a speech on the future direction of the European Union, he said Ireland and Lithuania may be small populations on opposite sides of the continent but they share the responsibility and right to make policy choices that help the most vulnerable.

He said the European values of peace, freedom and democracy cannot be taken for granted.

President Higgins also said the UK's departure from the EU will be felt most keenly in Ireland and he thanked Lithuania for its understanding of Ireland's "unique concerns" in the Brexit negotiations, in particular the support shown in protecting the gains of the Peace Process and the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement.

On the centenary of its independence he encouraged Lithuania to re-engage with the past as "a project that is ethically driven… creating a need to remember, to forgive, to forget and ultimately to release us from the confines of past events, so that we can be free to imagine a more fulfilling future".

He said Ireland and Lithuania have come to know each other better through their work in the European Union and he wanted to "celebrate that deepening friendship and to look to its future".