The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Italy to help put migration problem on European Agenda

Malta Independent Monday, 15 July 2013, 15:49 Last update: about 8 years ago

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today held talks with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Rome.

The talks revolved around the need for an increased focus on the Mediterranean region, which Prime Minister Letta said was on the Italy’s European Presidency’s agenda.

During a joint press conference, the two Prime Ministers expressed their satisfaction at the outcome of the talks, which they said reaped tangible results.

Prime Minister Letta said that he will raise Malta’s migration problem during a visit to Athens on Monday with his Greek counterpart.

Dr Letta called Malta “a natural partner” on the migration issue as well as wider Mediterranean affairs.

He said that the challenges faced by the Mediterranean are not just those related to migration, but important economic issues must be tackled too.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat again reiterated that Libya “is part of the solution,” and not the problem, a point on which Dr Letta agreed.

The Italian Prime Minister said that more efforts have to be made in training personnel in Libya, as well as those carrying out frontier patrols.

Dr Letta insisted that Libya has to follow all “international conventions.”

The existing maritime boundary dispute between Malta and Italy – including the possibility of joint oil exploration – was also discussed, and Dr Letta remarked that he was confident that the dispute would eventually be resolved.

He noted that the issue was a complex one, but said that he believed that it was now time to work for a solution.

Dr Letta also said that he asked the government’s technical advisors to come up with solutions, not problems, and brought up collaboration between Israel and Cyprus as an example of how the discovery of new oil and gas deposits could have significant economic effects.

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