Busuttil calls for 'united and global response against terrorism'

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil says vigilance in the face of the risk of terror attacks had to be 'balanced with a respect for freedoms citizen scurrently enjoy'

PN leader calls for united action against terrorism
PN leader calls for united action against terrorism

Opposition leader Simon Busuttil described the attacks in Paris and the murders of the Charlie Hebdo editorial staff as an attack “not just on individuals but on the values and ideas the EU champions.”

In an address to the diplomatic corps at the PN headquarters – in which Busuttil had to apologise for the absence of his new shadow minister Roberta Metsola MEP, who was addressing the EP plenary in Strasbourg – said the challenge for the EU was to “stay a step ahead of possible security problems but also respect freedoms.”

“Clamping down on free movement, one of the EU’s hallmarks, or closing borders is not the answer,” Busuttil said, emphasising the need to be vigilant about the threat of radicalisation in Malta while steering clear of any sort of racist sentiment.

“Malta is not isolated – we need a strong focus to avoid radicalization,” he said.

Busuttil also called for international action to persuade Saudi Arabian authorities to reconsider a 10-year prison sentence for Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, who was also received a public flogging for expressing his views.

“|Threats like the Islamic State and Boko Haram cannot be ignored… We need a united, global response and we need to stand together to bring Nigerian people back on their feet.”

On Libya, Busuttil said the EU could not allow the country to continue on its downward spiral towards ruin.

“The implications of allowing the county to collapse would lead be catastrophic on the security and the economy of EU countries. Our party welcomes talks with Libya under the auspices of the UN. It is crucial to find a political solution that includes the formation of a united government,” Busuttil said and called on government to keep people informed of any developments in the country.

He also called for concrete action from the European Parliament and the European Commission on migration, and for shared responsibility of all member states with Mediterranean nations like Greece, Malta, Italy and other frontline countries.

“The Dublin II regulations are out of date. We need to look at long-term solutions to help origin countries.”

He spoke of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which he said had captured the public’s attention and often scepticism. “Such an agreement could lead to immeasurable growth even for our country, but it should never come at the cost of the environment, health or data protection,” he said.

On Ukraine, he expressed hope that Malta would help in bringing about a peaceful transition to defend the people of the Ukraine.

“The Nationalist Party has offered and will continue to offer its co-operation and expertise to ensure that Malta has a successful Presidency of the Council of the EU in January 2017,” Busuttil said, calling for full transparency from the government about the subject.

More in National