President George Vella expressed his strong sentiments on the ongoing war in Ukraine, by conveying Malta’s full support to the leadership and people of Ukraine. He underlined the recent developments in the Mediterranean region, the complex political and security situation in Libya, and the evolving scenarios in North Africa, the Middle East, and Sudan.
Addressing the opening session of the ‘Malta InterAction Council Meeting’ attended by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and several former Heads of State or Government, President Vella shared his views on the realities that are shaping the region with a focus on the Mediterranean, which he termed sobering.
“Ours is a sea of history, millennial civilisations, culture, trade, and diversity. Yet, it is also a sea of conflict, discontent, mistrust, and neglect,” said President Vella.
On the concerning situation in Libya, the President of Malta called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces, mercenaries, fighters, and armed groups from the country and ensured a Libyan-led and Libyan-owned process that allowed the people to choose their leaders and renew the legitimacy of their institutions.
President Vella shared the constant struggle by Malta and other southern EU members to keep precarious dossiers at the top of the international agenda. “I can say from my own experience that the problems of the region are, more often than not, relegated to a frustrating secondary level of importance. This certainly applies to the Middle East Peace Process, or the lack of it,” said President Vella while calling for a major rethink of how the international community addresses this issue.
Speaking to the distinguished gathering of eminent dignitaries invited to Malta by former Prime Minister Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, President Vella urged all former leaders to exert pressure where it is most needed and not to shy away from condemning unilateral acts of provocation, which only lead to further bloodshed.
Directly addressing the former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, President Vella reiterated the full support and solidarity of the people of Malta and expressed an absolute and downright condemnation of Russia’s invasion.
President Vella said that for the region to prosper and the people to reach their full potential, there needs to emerge a sound and attractive investment climate based on functioning and accountable institutions. In this context, he called for a stronger political will for change while acknowledging the risks posed by a deteriorating environment.
Established in 1983, the ‘InterAction Council’ serves as an independent international organization that mobilizes the experience, energy, and international contacts of statesmen who have held the highest office in their respective countries. Council members work collaboratively to develop recommendations and practical solutions for the political, economic, and social challenges facing humanity.