Malta and Portugal have renewed their commitment to continue working towards improving political, economic and cultural relations, during the State visit to the Portuguese capital by President Coleiro Preca. The President has also had talks with the Portuguese President and Prime Minister.
The atmosphere and tone which stood out during the talks between President Coleiro Preca and the highest authorities in Portugal reflected colaboration and encouraged sustainability of diplomatic relations between both countries, which relations were officially established fifty years ago.
The President’s main commitments started with talks with her counterpart, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, at Palacio Belem. Both Presidents concurred that Malta and Portugal enjoy maritime traditions and a common Mediterranean history, which has long united them from centuries ago, with roots going back to the times of the Knights. The Presidents added that as two member states and Mediterranean countries, both countries will continue to work to improve dialogue btween peoples and address the sufferings of the more vulnerable members of society.
President Coleiro Preca also had talks with Prime Minister Antonio Costa at Palacio das Necessidadas in Lisbon, with both countries agreeing on ways to improve diplomatic and cultural relations between them.
On this her first visit to Portugal as Head of State, President Coleiro Preca emphasised the diplomatic and geopolitical proximity between both countries, so much so that various proposals were made which include among others the formation of a joint Parliamentary Group and the setting up of a specialised commission on trade and commerce.
The President also met with the Speaker of the Portuguese Assembly, Eduardo Ferro Rodriguez, and with the Mayor of Lisbon Ferdinando Medina, who in a symbolic gesture presented her with the keys of the city. The Mayor urged for more collaboration between both peoples, who he said have historic ties going back hundreds of years, and proposed ways on how Maltese and Portuguese towns can join forces in a twinning project between Valletta and Lisbon during the year that Valetta holds the title of European Culture Capital.
The President also addressed a business forum together with the Portuguese Minister for the Economy Manuel Caldeira Cabral. The forum was attended by a trade delegation consisting of representatives from various sectors, among which financial services, private investors and tourism.
The President and Mr Preca are accompanied on this visit by a delegation headed by the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Enterprises, Chris Cardona, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Carmelo Abela, and the Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue, Aaron Farrugia.