PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION: Minister Abela meets Senator Paul – first US Senator to visit Malta in six years

Warm and fruitful discussions took place between Senator Rand Paul and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela at the Ministry yesterday evening. Senator Paul is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and is the first senator to visit Malta since John McCain in 2011.

The Minister spoke of the good relations between Malta and the US, and that he wants to build on these relations in the next five years. Discussions kicked off on the visa waiver and the double taxation abolition agreements – all of which have strengthened the bilateral relationship.

They also discussed the ongoing problems in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan as well as corresponding banks issue where better communications and information exchanges were agreed upon.

Travel security, maritime, and migration issues affecting both countries were also mentioned. Security concerns are worldwide and we need to cooperate together both regionally and globally, said Minister Abela to the agreement of the Senator.

The Minister added that the Institute of Justice and the Rule of Law were going from strength-to-strength and, in just the three short years of its existence has trained around 2,500 practitioners – from police to judges – from all over the world.

However it has been especially useful in training lawmakers in the local region and hopefully, the benefits will include capacity-building to help fight terrorism and contribute to stability. This is a shining example of what our two countries can do when they work in partnership, the Minister added, thanking the US for their collaboration.

The Senator commended Malta on the recent EU Presidency and its continued commitment to democracy and neutrality. He also commented on the warm Maltese welcome he and his delegation have had.

Senator Paul was accompanied by his communications director, Maltese-born Sergio Gor, as part of a European tour with a delegation focused on investment and finance. He also met with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca earlier in the day.

The Minister was accompanied by Chief-of-Staff Arthur Garrard, Private Secretary Alessandro Mangion, and Government Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade Sarah-Louise Galea.

Source: Government of Malta