Malta PM Robert Abela stresses border controls in Valletta talks with Libyan GNA leader Fayez el Serraj

Prime Minister Robert Abela holds talks on migration and security in the Mediterranean with the president of the UN-recognised Libyan government, Fayez el Serraj

Libyan GNA leader Fayez el Serraj signing the visitors' book at Auberge de Castille before talks with Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MaltaToday)
Libyan GNA leader Fayez el Serraj signing the visitors' book at Auberge de Castille before talks with Prime Minister Robert Abela (Photo: Karl Azzopardi/MaltaToday)

Updated at 11:58am with details from meeting

Malta's "excellent" relationship with Libya will lead to better border controls and the prevention of further loss of life at sea, Prime Minister Robert Abela said.

He was speaking after greeting Libyan leader Fayez el Serraj at Auberge de Castille on Monday morning.

The UN-recognised Government of National Accord president is on an official visit to discuss security in the Mediterranean.

In his introductory speech Abela spoke of the historical relationship between the two countries, adding that collaboration has always reaped benefits for both peoples.

“Everyone recognises the importance of better border control across Europe and the Mediterranean,” Abela said, thanking the Libyan coastguard and authorities for protecting lives.

“Malta considers Libya its trusted friend, that is why government looks to continue its cooperation in key areas such as the protection of our borders and investments,” he added.

The Maltese and Libyan delegations held talks in Castille on immigration and security in the Mediterranean and the North African state
The Maltese and Libyan delegations held talks in Castille on immigration and security in the Mediterranean and the North African state

Abela stressed the importance of fighting human smugglers and the exploitation of vulnerable people.

Serraj highlighted the two countries’ long term relationship. “We hope in achieving a fruitful outcome for both Maltese and Libyans,” he said.

He added that both governments had the same goals in mind of eradicating human smuggling and improving the political situation in Libya.

The meeting between both leaders continued behind closed doors.

They are expected to discuss immigration and security in the war-torn country.

Serraj was greeted at Malta International Airport by Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo and Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri. 

The Libyan president is accompanied Foreign Minister Mohammed Taher Siala and Interior Minister Fathi Ali Abd-AlSalam Bashagha.

In his first official visit abroad as PM, Robert Abela, accompanied by Camilleri and Bartolo, had visited Libya in May.

Through a memorandum of understanding, joint coordination units were set up in Valletta and Tripoli, aimed at tackling the migration crisis stemming from the North African country.

The coordination units would help smoothen communication between both countries when dealing with migrant rescues in the Mediterranean.

Al-Sarraj had praised Malta's support for the GNA, saying he hoped cooperation between the two countries would continue to grow. He said the GNA was determined to defeat aggression in Libya, for the country to regain stability.

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