The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

Coleiro Preca meets Erdogan, says Malta continues to support Turkey's bid to join EU

Friday, 25 January 2019, 07:49 Last update: about 8 months ago

President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said that Malta continued to support Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

She was speaking at a joint press conference with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, a Department of Information statement said.

President Coleiro Preca reaffirmed the Maltese government’s support for the ongoing dialogue between Turkey and the European Union, stating that “Malta will continue to support Turkey’s accession bid”, and that it is Malta’s vision and mission to continue to support the enlargement process of the European Union.

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This is Malta’s belief, for a sustainable, peaceful and an inclusive and prosperous Europe and region”, said the President.

President Coleiro Preca conveyed her condolences to President Erdoğan and the people of Turkey for the tragic loss of lives in the Kerch Strait Sea accident which happened a few days ago.

The President of Malta commended the President of Turkey for his initiatives to conduct an ongoing dialogue within the region, and for the important role that Turkey is taking to be a catalyst for security and peace in the region.

The President also commended President Erdoğan and his government for striving to support the millions of refugees and asylum-seekers, adding that it is commendable for a country like Turkey to have sought the humanitarian aspect of the refugee crisis, rather than political gains.

“Malta is deeply committed to effectively manage migration in a dignified manner. The wellbeing of individuals and families fleeing conflict, environmental degradation, and extreme poverty is a humanitarian issue which is at the heart of fundamental human rights”, said President Coleiro Preca.

The President of Malta expressed her belief that this state visit, the first one by a Maltese head of state, has provided an ideal opportunity for us, “to take our connections to the next level, by transforming our excellent political and diplomatic relations into tangible socio-economic collaborations.” She said that Malta and Turkey’s excellent relations, over the decades, have evolved into mutually beneficial partnerships, thanks to the strong political commitment of Malta and Turkey’s respective governments. 

“The participation of our respective private sector stakeholders continued to strengthen and further develop, over time, for the mutual benefit of our peoples”, said President Coleiro Preca, whilst adding that Turkish investment in Malta is already the second largest foreign investment in Malta.

Both presidents also spoke of various sectors in which both countries can seek to collaborate further. These include the areas of financial services; blockchain technology; education and training in various sectors; health care; pharmaceuticals; life sciences; transhipment and logistics; tourism and hospitality; construction and infrastructure; alternative energy; aviation services; and the teaching of English as a foreign language, among others.

An Associated Press report quoted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying he's shocked by U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido's claim to the presidency.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Malta's president on Thursday, Erdogan reiterated his support for embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

Erdogan said he believed Maduro would overcome the crisis and would receive the people's backing "if he continues to stand strong in the path he believes in."

Erdogan also said Maduro didn't delay in calling and visiting Turkey to offer his support soon after Turkey thwarted a coup attempt in 2016.

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