Maltese embassy in Libya remains closed amid critical security situation - Foreign Minister

Location of Malta’s embassy in Tripoli might have to be changed once it re-opens, due to a deterioration in the safety status of the area

The current location of Malta's embassy in Libya might have to be changed once the representation re-opens its doors since the area might no longer be considered a safe on
The current location of Malta's embassy in Libya might have to be changed once the representation re-opens its doors since the area might no longer be considered a safe on

The Maltese embassy in Libya remains closed due to the grave security situation in the country, Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela said.

Abela said that, while the Foreign Ministry had been considering re-starting some form of operation, it would not risk sending a diplomatic representative to Libya unless there was some form of guaranteed security.

The minister, who was responding to a parliamentary question by Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone on Monday, said the location of Malta’s embassy in Tripoli might also have to be changed once the time comes to re-open the representation.

“When it comes to re-opening, we have to determine whether we should keep the embassy in its coming place, since the area it is located in might no longer be secure,” Abela said.

Abela said that every time political progress started being made in Libya, an escalation in violence would take place which would set things back.

“Military action has led to the halting of political progress,” he said, adding that although the international community was trying to help the situation, in the end it had to be the Libyans which would resolve matters.

Maltese embassy in Ghana now operating

Abela said that Malta’s new embassy in Ghana was now operating, although the official opening ceremony has not yet taken place. A High Commissioner and First Secretary have also been appointed, he said.

The minister went on to acknowledge that the Ghanian embassy - Malta’s first in Sub-Saharan Africa - would not be enough to serve Malta’s interests in the region, and that one or more other embassies could be opened.

“The new embassy won’t be sufficient to represent us in Sub-Saharan Africa. Within Malta’s limitations, we need to look at other countries. We should have the ambition to open one or two more embassies,” he said.

Over 20 Maltese companies have shown business interests in Ghana since the opening of the new embassy, Abela highlighted.

Discussion were also ongoing for the opening of a Maltese consulate in Casablanca, Morocco, he added.

“Air Malta flies to Morocco frequently, so a new embassy would help with the need for visas. Moreover, we have commercial interests there and we want to give support to those Maltese businesses who want to invest in Morocco,” the minister said.

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