Malta and Italy sign MoU, share concerns
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi and Foreign Minister Tonio Borg this afternoon signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, in a bid to formalise the dialogue and commitment between the two countries.
Minister Tonio Borg said that the long established relations between Malta and Libya have been stepped up after Malta joined the European Union, with Italy supporting the island in financial, cultural and cooperative ways.
Currently, the two countries are in discussion over issues concerning oil exploration, the continental shelf and cooperation with Libya regarding illegal immigration. Dr Borg said that both countries believed that the 5+5 summit that will be held in the near future will enhance the bridges of both countries with those of the North African coast.
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi condemned the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, calling it a terrorist attack that proves that Libya still has elements that seek to destabilise the country. The Italian Minister described Stevens as a top professional and a brilliant diplomat who was deeply involved in helping Libya on its road to democracy, as the will of the Libyan people showed at the recently-held polls.
Sig.Terzi explained how the memorandum of understanding added substance to a relationship that had been ongoing for long years. The agreement enhances cooperation between Italy and Malta and officialises the commitment of the bilateral relationship particularly in view of agreements on Interconnectivity for Energy, the pooling of Search and Rescue date and illegal immigration.
In the case of oil exploration, Sig. Terzi held that the two countries are identifying and finding ways for cooperation in view of technical issues and legal implications of the matter. He continued that the 5+5 meeting would help support the democratic process in Libya and outline ways that countries can contribute to help in the Syrian scenario both as EU and on individual cases.
Minister Tonio Borg shuddered at the fact that the terrorist attack in Libya had happened on the same day as the country was to appoint the new democratically-elected government. He expressed his concern over the implications the attack on the US Ambassor could have on the country’s route to democracy and expressed his hopes that the image which cost Libya a lot of lives, would not be tarnished.