PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Minister for Foreign Affairs in official talks with EU’s High Representative

Foreign Minister Dr George W. Vella this morning held official talks with the EU’s High Representative Ms Federica Mogherini, who is in Malta to discuss preparations related to the Malta Presidency in 2017.

In warmly welcoming the High Representative to Malta, Minister Vella gave a general overview of the priorities being envisaged in the field of external relations. Malta will be dedicating considerable efforts to addressing Mediterranean realities and challenges, while also keeping developments in the Eastern neighbourhood under close watch. Minister Vella spoke of his intention to invite counterparts from the European Union, Southern partners, and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss issues of common interest, such as the aspirations of youth in the region.

The High Representative expressed her satisfaction at being in Malta on her first official visit, and underlined Malta’s credentials as an agent of dialogue between Europe, the Arab World and African partners. Malta, High Representative Mogherini observed, is in an excellent position to bridge differences. Reference was also made to the successful outcomes of the Anna Lindh Forum, hosted by Malta on 23-25 October, which made a very important contribution to youth dialogue and exchanges.

Particular focus was placed on the situation in the European neighbourhood, with both sides reiterating their concern about the situations in Libya and Syria. The EU’s ongoing cooperation with Tunisia was also discussed. Minister Vella expressed Malta’s support to the EU Global Strategy, launched in June 2016, and welcomed the specific attention given to the EU’s Southern neighbourhood.

Discussions on migration centred on the preparations for the Valletta ‘Senior Officials Meeting’, scheduled for 8-9 February 2017, which will be convening for the first time after the Valletta Summit of November 2015. Foreign Minister Vella and the High Representative concurred on the important need to continue taking forward the work and initiatives that have developed as a result of the close partnership between the EU and Africa, in the context of the Valletta Action Plan, as well as the Migration Compacts.

Source: Government of Malta.