5+5 working summit starts today
The 5+5 summit will be focusing on discussions, rather than ceremonies, upon the request of Prime Minister, Lawrence Gonzi.
“The Prime Minister specifically requested that the 5+5 summit is not overshadowed by ceremonies but gets down to business and focuses on the issues at hand,” said Charles Bonello, Chairman of the organising committee.
The opening ceremony will consist of speeches at Auberge de Castille by Dr Gonzi, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy and Moncef Marzouki, President of the Republic of Tunisia.
After a working lunch at Castille, the summit first working session will be held at Verdala Palace where a proposed declaration is discussed and adopted.
French President, Francois Hollande, will meet Italian Premier, Mario Monti and Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy Brey, to discuss Europe’s debt crisis. A schedule released by the office of the French President said that the three-way meeting will be held today at 18:00h, possibly at Versala Palace.
The Prime Ministers of Malta, Algeria, Italy, Morocco, Portugal and Spain will be participating in the summit together with the Presidents of France, Libya, Mauritania and Tunisia.
Among the observers for the summit, there will be the President of the EU, Jose Manuel Barroso, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, Arab Maghreb Union Secretary General, Habib Ben Yahia, League of Arab States Ambassador, Omnia Taha, the vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Mediterranean, Nabih Berri and the secretary general for the Union for the Mediterranean, Fathallah Sijilmassi.
Motorists urged to use public transport
Motorists planning to visit and drive towards Valletta and Floriana are urged to use public transport especially as the 5+5 summit starts at around 12 noon.
Due to the high profile of Heads of State participating in the summit the road leading to Auberge de Castille will be blocked for vehicular traffic.
Pedestrians will not be hindered from accessing Gilormu Cassar Avenue.
"Security is of paramount importance for the 5+5 summit. Motorists are urged to plan their visit to Valletta carefully on Friday morning as 15 delegations will be arriving at scheduled intervals but within a short space of time," said Charles Bonello.