President in Croatia: Malta is committed to have the best possible relations with all countries

President George Vella is in Croatia for a state visit at the invitation of the President of this country in the Western Balkans, which is also in the Mediterranean and is the newest member in the EU. On his arrival at the capital Zagreb, Dr Vella said that this visit is part of the work of the presidency for Malta to keep the best possible relations with all countries. The President also sees a way to improve commercial relations with Croatia.

On his arrival at the airport the President of Malta and Mrs Vella were met by representatives from the Office of the Croatian President and the Ministry of Home Affairs. The official commitments of Malta’s head of state begin this morning when talks will be held with the Croatian President.

“Croatia is a country which joined the EU in 2013. There is a certain stability and we have already made several contacts. What we really need to do is develop the commercial relations between us; there are various sectors on which one can talk and which can be further developed.”

The common challenges faced by the two countries will also be discussed, even if the realities may differ, such as immigration, climate change and air and sea pollution. The President said that where possible, the countries should offer a hand of friendship to each other and work together, even on a wider level such as within the EU and the UN. He said that this is the sprit of multilateralism.

With Croatia being the only country from the Western Balkans which is a member of the EU, Malta is in support of this group of countries becoming members of the European bloc.

“They are a very important group of countries for the EU which has just held a conference about their future because everyone is declaring that this group’s place is within the EU. However before they all join, which will not be easy because of certain difficulties, but before they all become members, Europe will not be complete.”

President George Vella ‘s talks are also expected to continue building on what was discussed in a bilateral meeting between the two Presidents last month in Rome when they met during the Arrailos Group, which brings together non-executive Presidents of EU countries.

With a population which is over 4 million, Croatia is at a crossroads between the centre and southeast of Europe. Its borders touch with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro and has kilometres of coast along the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas.