Thursday , June 13 2024

Working Visit of the Foreign Minister of Malta



Deepening ties with the signing of a Cultural Cooperation Protocol


Photos from above: The two Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Malta, Ian Borg, and of Greece, Nikos Dendias, at the MoFA’s event for the presentation of Greece’s candidacy for the position of non-permanent Member of the UN Security Council for the period 2025-26; exchanging the Cultural Cooperation Protocol; the two delegations in conference. 

Revisionism has no place in modern times and must be condemned regardless of its origin, said Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias after meeting with his visiting Maltese counterpart, Ian Borg, on April 27th.

During the meeting, as Minister Dendias pointed out, they discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the inadmissibility of attempting to change borders by force and the common obligation to support Ukraine at all levels, as well as International Law and the International Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, etc.

In a statement after the meeting, in which the two Ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine among other issues. Minister Dendias pointed out that although Ukraine is an extremely important issue, “the EU must also pay attention to the Mediterranean basin” and to the northern coast of Africa. If the latter is ignored by the EU, he said, may cause “considerable problems for Europe in many areas including migration and terrorism,” while Europe’s southern borders will also need attention.

Regarding the crisis in Sudan, Minister Dendias said that despite the “extremely unpleasant effects it has on the population and European citizens, it could be an opportunity to intensify our efforts to create a permanent EU forces deployment scheme, especially for extracting EU citizens.”

“I criticised in Brussels, and during our discussion in the Council, the inability of the EU to organise a joint operation to free our citizens from Sudan,” adding that Greece is doing everything it can to free its own citizens and any others it can he said.

He also recalled that on the previous day he had received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Romanian and Finnish citizens who were brought to Athens by a Greek aircraft. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs mentioned, the visit of his Maltese counterpart to Athens reflects the strong will of both sides to further strengthen Greek-Malta relations.

He also thanked Minister Borg for his presence at the event of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the presentation of Greece’s candidacy for the position of non-permanent Member of the UN Security Council for the period 2025-26. The presence of the Maltese Minister is of particular importance, as Malta is currently a non-permanent Member of the UN Security Council (2023-24).

The two countries have already developed close cooperation at the UN, which will deepen even more if Greece is elected to the Security Council. They also referred to facing common challenges to protect common values and the principles of the United Nations Charter which both countries serve with utmost loyalty.

Prospects for further strengthening bilateral cooperation in various fields including economy, tourism and culture, but also collaboration within the EU and EUMED-9, the UN and other international organisations were also discussed. From this cooperation, as Minister Dendias pointed out, Greece and Malta have to reap benefits, in areas such as shipping and tourism. The two Ministers also signed a Cultural Cooperation Protocol, through which they will be able to promote their relations in a large number of fields, archaeology, university research and entertainment, etc.

Regional issues such as Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean, but also broader problems were also discussed. Minister Dendias mentioned that he asked for Malta’s help for the 9th ‘Our Ocean Conference’ that Greece will host in 2024, which Malta has hosted in 2017 and thanked him for Malta’s willingness to help with the relevant expertise.

The Greek Foreign Minister also noted that he feels particularly closely connected to Malta and its citizens, as he comes from Corfu, which has many architectural elements in common with Valletta. “Also, at least 3,500 Maltese people live in Corfu, many of them are my friends, they have always voted for me overwhelmingly and I am very grateful for that,” he concluded.

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