PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Minister for Foreign Affairs addresses the Diplomatic Corps

Yesterday evening, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr George W. Vella addressed the Diplomatic Corps at the Verdala Palace during the yearly New Year’s Greetings.

During his speech Minister Vella gave an overview of Malta’s foreign Policy going on in the coming six months, primarily, but not exclusively, as President of the Council of the European Union. Minister Vella said that the country’s energies are being directed towards achieving a successful Presidency.

Apart from speaking about Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, Minister Vella outlined situations in neighbouring countries, with a particular emphasis on Libya, as well as the situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood�including Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian issue�the Western Balkans, and Turkey

Minister Vella said that The situation in our Mediterranean neighbourhood in 2016 remained as precarious as it was in 2015. This is a region that has all the potential to be a vibrant and lively economic centre and a beehive of cultural activity. Instead, it is heavily laden with conflict, instability and socio-economic challenges. As the last Mediterranean Presidency for the current term, it is incumbent upon us to give particular attention to our Southern neighbours.

The Minister continued that We cannot afford to give up on this region. The EU needs to continue to present itself as a reliable partner and to be there consistently to help create the right conditions for a bright future. The choice is a simple one. We either plant the seeds of stability and growth ourselves, or else it will be others who plant the seeds of insecurity and disillusion.

Source: Government of Malta