PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE ARMED FORCES OF MALTA: Chairman of the EU Military Committee, General Mikhail Kostarakos, visits Luqa Barracks

On the invitation of the Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee General Mikhail Kostarakos and members of his staff paid a brief official visit to Malta today in order to discuss EU security and defence priorities during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Following a ceremonial quarter guard at Luqa Barracks, the delegation was hosted to a lunch at the officers’ mess, prior to conducting the relative talks.

During this semester, as part of Malta’s Presidency programme, the Armed Forces of Malta will be organising a number of events that involve the EU Military Committee which is based in Brussels and is composed of military representatives of all the Member States. The events in Malta will culminate in a hosted visit by the Committee in May, during which an informal EU Military Committee meeting will be held.

Currently, the Armed Forces of Malta has officers deployed to the Operation Headquarters of two EU military operations, namely Operation Atalanta and Operation Sophia, dealing respectively with maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia, and illegal human smuggling in the Central Mediterranean. Additionally, as a further contribution to the EU’s efforts to deal with illegal migration and to avert as much as possible the resulting loss of life at sea, the AFM will shortly be providing search and rescue training to Libyan Coastguard personnel, the aim being to assist Libya to further develop its own operational capacity for SAR operations. Training is expected to commence in early March and will be provided by the Maritime Safety and Security Training Centre (MSSTC) based at the Maritime Squadron, Haywharf.

Source: Government of Malta