A series of talks were held between, the Libyan Under-Secretary for Defence for Borders, Oilfields and Critical Infrastructure, Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Commander, Armed Forces of Malta (AFM).
Brigadier Martin Xuereb, welcomed Mr Al Siddiq A. Al Obaidi, the Libyan Under-Secretary at the AFM Headquarters on Monday 2 July where the Under Secretary was afforded honours. Accompanied by the Commander AFM, Under Secretary Al Obaidi inspected an AFM Guard of Honour following which discussions were held.
The meeting with the AFM focused on possible assistance that Malta could provide Libya in its endeavour to enhance it border management and control capabilities. Under Secretary Al Obaidi stated that the Libya was convinced that in view of Malta’s experience in maritime border management, there were many areas where the two nations could collaborate. The Libyan Under-secretary expressed interest in how the Armed Forces of Malta assumes diverse constabulary tasks at sea including, fisheries protection, counter narcotics, contraband and human trafficking. Mr Al Obaidi said that his hoped that for the benefit of both Malta and Libya, the AFM’s assistance would be forthcoming.
The Libyan Under-Secretary for Defence for Borders, Oilfields and Critical Infrastructure also thanked Malta for the training in Search and Rescue, Operational Maritime Law and Shipboarding that the AFM is currently providing the Libyan Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel. He said that this training is assisting Libya build capabilities that will allow it to undertake its responsibilities in the best possible manner.
During the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Tonio Borg underlined the importance of furthering ties between Malta and Libya by addressing mutual concerns such as border control and illegal immigration. Immigration is a borderless phenomenon that heavily affects both Libya and Malta. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Malta was actively ensuring and enhancing any EU assistance to Libya as the new country rebuilds its institutions and establishes a new democratically elected government.
The Libyan Under-Secretary recalled Malta’s support for Libya and its people during the revolution which went beyond the material dimension and expressed appreciation of the Government of Malta’s continued assistance to Libya in building its civil institutions. A country with strong, transparent, modern institutions would also enhance its security and the general well-being of its citizens.