Malta will not choose between Palestine and Israel, Foreign Minister tells Israeli PM

Carmelo Abela stressed that Malta wished to see both sets of peoples to be able to live in their own state in mutual recognition, peace, and security

Foreign Affairs minister Carmelo Abela will be visiting Palestine and Israel later this month
Foreign Affairs minister Carmelo Abela will be visiting Palestine and Israel later this month

Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela has stressed that Malta would not pick sides between Palestine and Israel, but rather wanted to see both sets of people’s live together in peace.

It was also announced that Abela would be travelling to Israel and Palestine later this month to discuss ways of enhancing European and bilateral relations with the two countries, and to help create the 'right conditions to save the Miaddle East Peace Process'.

Speaking at an informal working breakfast between EU28 foreign ministers and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Abela stressed that Malta believed in a two-state solution.

Discussions with Netanyahu took place on the side-lines of the Foreign Affairs Council and the Foreign Affairs (Development) Council and were chaired by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

“We believe that the aspirations of the Israelis and the Palestinians must be fulfilled and that a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states. Malta will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem and our embassy will remain in Tel Aviv until the final status of Jerusalem is resolved”,” said Abela.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Council meeting’s agenda included the situation in Iraq, the latest developments in the Middle East, and Libya. Minister Abela briefed his counterparts on his official visit to Libya on 14 November 2017 during which he held meetings with Muhammed Taher Siala, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Fayez al Sarraj, President of the Presidency Council. The visit served to reaffirm Malta and the international community’s unwavering support to the GNA. Malta remains available to offer its assistance to the GNA to help re-establish peace and prosperity in Libya, Minister Abela said.

The Foreign Affairs Ministers also discussed EU-G5 Sahel cooperation with their counterparts from this group of African countries: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. This was followed by a joint discussion between Foreign Ministers and Development Ministers – in the case of Malta the same minister – to follow up on the African Union-European Union Summit which took place in Côte d’Ivoire on 29-30 November 2017.

The day ended with a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on Development, during which Development and International Cooperation Ministers exchanged views on how trade and investment can contribute to development cooperation.

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