Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela commended the outgoing Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Fathallah Sijilmassi for all of his good work during his last official visit to Malta before his six-year mandate expires at the end of the month.
During his time at the helm of the UfM’s Secretariat, Mr Sijilmassi said that he was grateful to Malta and Minister Abela for their continuous support of the UfM, especially in the ambit of regional policy in the Mediterranean, as security in the Mediterranean is a foreign policy priority for Malta. Both agreed that the UfM and Malta enjoyed an excellent level of cooperation during Mr Sijilmassi’s term.
Discussions also focussed on Libya, migration and the related global and regional challenges, Malta’s co-chairship of the 5+5, as well as its willingness to help the Middle East Peace Process talks in any way possible. Mr Sijilmassi said that though Malta might be small, it still had a large part to play in the Mediterranean, and was seen as a “trusted partner, without a hidden agenda”.
Minister Abela expressed Malta’s warmest appreciation for the outgoing Secretary General’s work as well as his personal gratitude for having consolidated the Secretariat and enhancing the profile and visibility of the UfM. “There is no doubt we have worked together well, especially during our Presidency of the Council of the European Union, when we held a number of high-level and ministerial meetings.”
Mr Sijilmassi will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Malta-based Mediterranean Tourism Foundation during his visit, which aims to promote tourism in the Mediterranean in accordance with the UfM’s Roadmap for Action.