PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION Minister Carmelo Abela speaks on the occasion of the start of Hanukkah

On the Sunday 22nd December, which marked the beginning of Hanukkah, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela stated that “the story we are celebrating transcends millennia and is a message that resonates in our world today � freedom, sovereignty and dignity. But it is also a story of perseverance and no matter how small you are, you can make a difference.”

Minister Abela stated that freedom of religion and belief deserves more attention as there has tragically been an upsurge in violence also in Europe. “The EU and its member states, fully aware that Jewish communities feel particularly vulnerable following an increase in violent incidents in recent years, have agreed to take steps to better protect the Jewish community in Europe and to continue their fight against Antisemitism”, noted Minister Abela.

The minister also said that Malta is strongly committed to fight any form of discrimination and inequality and continues to attach great importance to the promotion of a culture of inclusiveness, both at home and abroad. Moreover, he also noted that diversity has become a characteristic of Maltese society and is set to stay as a way of life, and that this reflects our long standing history of being a bridge for different religions, faiths and cultures.

In conclusion, Minister Carmelo Abela stated that it is our collective duty to ensure that people around the world are not subject to violence, discrimination or intimidation because of their faith or beliefs, and that Malta shall continue to make every effort to promote these thoughts and ideas so we can indeed continue building bridges, promoting tolerance of religion and belief, and boosting resilience.

Source: Government of Malta