Speaking at the Foreign Affairs Council held today in Brussels, Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Minister Ian Borg stated that, “As one year since the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine approaches, Malta will continue to support the efforts of the international community on a multilateral level, including in our capacity on the UN Security Council, in response to the war in Ukraine.”
The Foreign Affairs Council discussed the ongoing developments related to the war in Ukraine, the Sahel and West Africa, as well as other current affairs matters, including Iran, Ethiopia, Montenegro and Afghanistan. EU Foreign Affairs Ministers also had an informal exchange of views with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.
Ministers were debriefed on the latest developments in Ukraine by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who joined the meeting virtually. Minister Borg referred to the upcoming EU-Ukraine Summit and the cooperation with international partners regarding the reconstruction platform. In this regard, he highlighted the importance of coordination with the partners, particularly the G7, also on matters related to sanctions.
EU Foreign Ministers then discussed the developments in the Sahel and West Africa, particularly the importance of scaling up the EU engagement in the region. Referring to his recent visit to Ghana, Minster Borg underlined the need for mutually beneficial engagement that brings tangible results across many areas, such as peace and security, trade, knowledge sharing, upskilling, and training, with particular emphasis on youth. Minister Borg also emphasised the need for clear, effective, and strategic communication to ensure that the EU remains the partner of choice.
Ministers also exchanged views with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh. Ministers reiterated the EU position in support of a Two State Solution. He expressed Malta’s concern at recent developments and the risk of escalation. Dr Borg also highlighted the need for continued Palestinian efforts towards national reconciliation and elections, as well as efforts on internal reforms, such as strengthening the judicial system. Dr Borg expressed support for re-starting discussions on a full Association Agreement between the EU and Palestine.
In the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council, ministers had a discussion with the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grassi on the assistance that is being provided to Ukraine to secure its nuclear power plants and on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Minister Borg also had a bilateral meeting with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg.
Source: Office of the Prime Minister