[WATCH] Rule of law and good governance are top of the country’s agenda, Malta PM tells ambassadors

Prime Minister Robert Abela lays down government's priorities in his first address to the diplomatic corps at the annual New Year greetings

Prime Minister Robert Abela. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Prime Minister Robert Abela. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

Malta will address weaknesses in the rule of law and governance, while seeking dialogue with international partners, Robert Abela told ambassadors on Friday.

The newly-appointed prime minister said institutional reform will be a priority during his term.

Abela was addressing members of the diplomatic corps at Castille during the annual New Year’s greetings. 

While stating that 2019 was an important year for the domestic economy and the social initiatives taken, Abela acknowledged the questions raised on good governance and the rule of law. 

“These issues are at the top of the government’s agenda, and our first decisions are ample proof that we intend to tackle them... just to mention one decision; I have tasked the new minister for justice and good governance to give these issues the importance they deserve,” he said.

Abela said that through the work of the foreign ministry, and its new minister Evarist Bartolo, the government will work towards further dialogue in an effort to continue improving relationships. 

Abela said that he looked forward to working with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

“Malta is looking to new frontiers while consolidating existing relations,” he said, with the PM stating that Asian and African countries hold a priority in the government's ambitions. 

The PM used the preparations currently underway in Japan, which will see the first Maltese embassy in the country, as an example to Malta's efforts in consolidating further relationships with other countries. 

He also said that Malta looks to take an active role in international fora at the highest levels. 

“Malta’s central position in the Mediterranean has always served to make us bridge-builders between countries,” Abela said. 

Addressing members of the diplomatic corps Abela said that rule of law, institutional work and good governance will be a priority for the government during his term. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Addressing members of the diplomatic corps Abela said that rule of law, institutional work and good governance will be a priority for the government during his term. (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)

He insisted that resolving the Libyan crisis can only be achieved through diplomatic discussion rather than military action. 

“Malta reiterates its long-standing position in support of a two-state solution, as well as a commitment to the parameters established by the United Nations security council resolution,” he said. 

He also insisted on ensuring Syrian state unity, territorial sovereignty and the well-being of Syrian people. 

“As a country whose aspirations are that of promoting peace, prosperity and equality, Malta is seeking election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations security council for the term 2023-2024,” Abela said. 

He also conveyed a message of confidence and partnership with those present, with him stating that he looks forward to another year of collaboration and success. 

The newly chosen cabinet were all seated behind Robert Abela during the event, except for deputy Prime Minister, Chris Fearne, who was not present at the event.

Apostolic Nuncio and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Alessandro D’Errico also addressed those present before the PM and said that this year’s greetings hold a higher significance.

“Our meeting today has higher importance due to your election as PM and the recent events surrounding Malta,” he told Abela.

D’Errico also said that he is confident that the good relationship the diplomatic corps enjoyed with former PM Joseph Muscat will continue with his successor Robert Abela.

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