The President of Malta

Diskors mill-Eċċellenza Tiegħu George Vella, President ta’ Malta, fl-okkażjoni tal-Jum Nazzjonali tar-Repubblika Għarbija tal-Eġittu, 10 ta’ Lulju 2023. (Diskors bl-Ingliż)

Your Excellency, Ambassador Khaled Mohamed Sameh Anis,

Honourable Ministers,

Honourable Leader of the Opposition,

Honourable Members of Parliament,


Distinguished guests,

Thank you, Excellency for the warm welcome.  It is a pleasure to be with all of you here today to celebrate the National Day of Egypt. 

Malta has always enjoyed friendly relations with its Southern partners, and this applies undoubtedly to Egypt.  Throughout our 58 years of bilateral diplomatic relations, we have always found common ground working on political exchanges, bilateral trade, and on matters of regional and foreign policy.

For Malta, Egypt is a long-standing important partner in the Mediterranean region.  As a geographical space, the Mediterranean has offered the opportunity for our people to come together, to discover each other, learn from one another and enrich the identities of each other.

Education and youth exchanges have over the years played an important role in developing and strengthening the connection between our two countries.

The close geographic proximity between our two countries and the linguistic similarity between Maltese and Arabic contribute towards further reinforcing the strong people to people links between Malta and Egypt.

I am always glad to hear about the many Egyptian diplomats, lawyers and other professionals who have come to Malta over the years to pursue their studies at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, the International Maritime Law Institute or the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law.

On this note, I convey my appreciation towards the contribution you are giving to our country’s cultural, educational, and academic credentials.  You are all very welcome in Malta and we hope that those who are still with us, have a pleasant and enriching stay amongst us.

Looking ahead, I am confident that our relations will continue to develop and flourish on the basis of sincere friendship, mutual respect and understanding for the benefit of our citizens, and the security, stability, and the prosperity of our common geographical space, the Mediterranean and beyond.


The world around us is in a state of upheaval, the like of which we have not witnessed for generations. Multiple conflicts and crises are unfolding simultaneously, having mutually compounding effects on the international community.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made things worse and life more difficult for millions of people around the globe – people who probably were already suffering from poverty and malnutrition.

While the world was reeling from the onslaught of the pandemic, Russia launched a brutal and illegal invasion in Ukraine, causing misery, death, and destruction, which are still ongoing with no signs of abating.

I salute the bravery of the Ukrainian people, who against a brutal invasion by Russia, continue to stand up for their freedom with inspiring courage and relentless resilience.

At the same time however, we should all be deeply concerned about the lasting impact of this war and the far-reaching consequences that it is having and will continue to have on the rest of the world, particularly in terms of food supplies, energy security, price hikes and economic stability.

Closer to home, the Mediterranean remains a reservoir of instability as the region is burdened with turmoil and protracted conflict.

The deteriorating situation in our immediate neighbourhood, the phenomenon of irregular migration, the existential threat posed by climate change, and the breakdowns in food-supply chains provide us with clear examples of things to come.

We are witnessing scenes of extreme violence, aggression and atrocities that we had promised ourselves not to ever let happen again.

Peace remains threatened and elusive and holding onto hope in these hard times is not an easy feat.

However, just because we are facing challenging times does not mean we have to be overtaken by them. We still have control of our actions and attitudes toward this current situation.

We should not allow anger and resentment to displace our focus on dialogue and diplomacy.

Hence, we should remain hopeful.

Hopeful that through dialogue and diplomacy, we can reinvigorate our commitment to a vision of a world that is governed by a rules-based order as is enshrined in the United Nations Charter. 

As an ardent supporter of multilateralism and an elected member of the United Nations Security Council, Malta is committed to play its part in upholding and strengthening the principles and values embedded in the United Nations Charter.

We are doing this by engaging with friends and partners like Egypt, to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.

As a European Union member state, we are pleased to observe closer collaboration between Egypt and the European Union, especially in the fields of sustainability and migration.

By working together in the spirit of mutual trust and understanding, we can transform the Mediterranean into a vector of dialogue and cooperation. This will contribute not only to the development and prosperity of the nations in our region, but to the growth and development of the whole world.

Conflict resolution and mediation efforts must become our collective priority, particularly during these challenging times.

In this regard, allow me to commend Egypt’s leadership when it stepped up mediation in the Middle East to prevent the spread of further unrest and loss of lives. In spite of all good intentions, such ceasefires unfortunately do not hold long. 

Looking ahead, I believe that the youth of our region have an important role to play in prompting open dialogue, and to seek common ground with the aim of increasing confidence and reducing tensions.

This is what motivated me to organise the Young Mediterranean Voices initiative in 2016, together with the then High Representative of the European Union, and the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Institutions like the Anna Lindh Foundation continue to promote an inclusive approach for youths.  Today, the Mediterranean is home to millions of young voices eager to develop their full potential and build sustainable and inclusive societies. 

More recently I delivered a virtual address to the World Youth Forum held in Sharm el Sheikh in January 2021 upon the invitation of President el-Sisi.  These positive debates among our youths instil in them a culture of mutual respect and understanding rather than that of confrontation, based on informed arguments and respect for the opinions of others.

Only a few days ago, a Euromed Summit was held in the Great Library of Alexandria, the headquarters of the Anna Lindh Foundation, bringing together the economic and social councils of a large number of Mediterranean countries as well as EU countries and the Union for the Mediterranean to discuss energy transition, water security and desertification as well as Digital Transition, all topics having a direct impact on the future quality of life in our region.

This is my hope.

That younger generations will be able to positively influence policy and bring peoples and nations together rather than propagate further fear and distrust.

In conclusion, Excellency, distinguished guests, I invite you to raise your glasses for a toast, to the health of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi, and to the excellent relations between the people of Malta and the people of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

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