PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: “Let us continue in our respective regions to enhance peace and prosperity as one united family”

President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has been awarded the Ukraine’s Person of the Year Award 2017 for Social and Political Activity.

In a recorded message broadcasted during the ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, President Coleiro Preca expressed her gratitude for this award and its significance.

To me, it signifies the great friendship which, I am confident, will continue to develop between the Maltese and the Ukrainian people, the President said.

President Coleiro Preca added that Malta and Ukraine share common fundamental values – the mutual commitment of both countries to peace and prosperity and the upholding of active democracies for the holistic well-being of the peoples of Malta and Ukraine make both countries close to one another.

Since the independence of Ukraine in 1991, relations have flourished between the two countries. These relations have grown at all levels. My recent state visit to your country has further consolidated the excellent bilateral relationship between our authorities and our peoples, the President explained.

The President also expressed appreciation to Petro Poroshenko and the Government of Ukraine for their efforts to match the efforts of the Government of Malta in strengthening the relations between Malta and Ukraine on political, social, and economic levels. She noted that the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union brought about a historical moment of cooperation between the European Union and Ukraine, which was marked by the entry into force of the visa liberalisation for Ukrainian citizens.

The visa liberalisation development is evidence of the closeness and friendship we wish to nurture, not only between our two peoples but also among the entire European family, the President said.

The President commended Ukraine for its progress in the implementation of various national strategies of reform.

Every investment in the well-being of your citizens is an investment in the dignity of Ukrainian families and communities, the President added.

Let us continue in our respective regions to enhance peace and prosperity as one united family

President Coleiro Preca said that we must remain united by the essential values that we share, whether we come from the southern shores or the eastern regions of Europe.

We must be united by our commitment to universal human rights and fundamental freedoms and the profound respect for the rule of law and intrinsic human dignity, the President stressed. These are values that define Malta and Ukraine as nations of goodwill, said the President whilst adding that thanks to these deep roots, the friendship between Malta and Ukraine and their peoples will grow stronger in the future.

Lastly, the President dedicated this award to all peace-loving people in Malta, Ukraine, and all over the world.

The ‘Person of the Year’ title is given to outstanding representatives of politics, culture, and the arts for their contribution to strengthening the Ukrainian independence, supporting, and promoting Ukraine, its people, history, and traditions.

Former recipients of this award include Pope John Paul II, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and US Senator John McCain.

Source: Government of Malta