Migration and situation in Libya discussed on eve of 5+5 dialogue in Malta
Migration, the Middle East peace process and the situation in Libya were among the themes discussed at a bilateral meeting between Malta’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela and French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The bilateral talks were held one day before Malta hosts the 5 + 5 dialogue also known as the Western Mediterranean dialogue.
Mr Le Drian expressed his solidarity with Maltese authorites about the migration issue. He said that he understands that this is a sensitive topic and is at the top of the agenda of Maltese authorities while appealing for factual solutions and solidarity from the EU.
In a press conference following the bilateral meeting with Minister Abela, the French Minister said that when Malta needed help in a humanitarian emergency, France immediately answered the Maltese Government’s request for the relocation of immigrants. Minister Abela thanked France for the support it has always given in the migration issue.
Speaking about the Libyan issue, Minister Abela expressed his hope that with the help of the international community, including Malta and France, the elections which will be held in spring can start paving the way towards stability. Minister Le Drian, on his part, said that the EU needs to address human trafficking and the fight against terrorism in this region.
Minister Abela said that when it comes to Brexit there are more questions than answers, however member states should continue to work closely to clarify the relationship between the European bloc and the EU. Minister Le Drian said that May’s Brexit deal will not be renegotiated and the ball is now in the UK Government’s court. He said that like Malta, France is preparing itself for a no deal Brexit.
The 5 + 5 dialogue is an informal meeting which brings together the five shores of the Western Mediterranean, namely, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain from one side of Europe, and Algeria, Libya, Marocco, Mauritania and Tunisia from the side of Northern Africa.