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Gentiloni in Malta: Libya and migration crisis on the agenda

The migration crisis, fighting terrorism and Libya are the major issues on the agenda of the meetings that Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni will have today at La Valletta, in addition to the bilateral relations between Italy and Malta. Minister Gentiloni is scheduled to meet with his colleague George Vella, the President of the Republic Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, the Minister of Economy and Investments, Christian Cardona and the Parliamentary Committee for European and Foreign Affairs chaired by Hon. Luciano Busuttil. This last meeting will be held inside Malta’s new Parliament, which was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.

The Libyan crisis has become of crucial importance for Malta, in view of its geographic proximity and of the economic and financial interests at play, in addition to the terrorist threat. The talks will reiterate the need to keep a watchful eye on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, also in view of Malta’s Presidency of the EU Council in the first semester of 2017. Minister Gentiloni will confirm the inclusiveness of the Founding Members’ Initiative and the commitment to celebrate the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which will fall under Malta’s Presidency of the EU Council.

Attention will also be focused on discussing bilateral issues. In 2015 Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, visited the island on the 9th of April for the inauguration of the Sicily-Malta power interconnector and the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, on the 22nd of July. In the meantime, the political dialogue with La Valletta has strengthened, also in the light of the migration emergency, which sees Malta in line with Italy’s stance within the European Union. At economic and commercial level, Italy continues to be Malta’s major trade partner and one of its leading investors.