Malta co-chairs 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue meeting

Evarist Bartolo
Miguela Xuereb

Malta has co-chaired a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of the countries forming part of the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue, whose overall theme was “together for collective security and partnership in the Western Basin for the Mediterranean.”

The meeting was hosted virtually by Tunisia, and a declaration was also adopted.

The 5+5 dialogue brings together five African countries (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) and five European ones (France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain) which lie in or around the Western Mediterranean. The foreign minister’s meeting – the 16th under this dialogue – also saw the participation of observer institutions, including the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo spoke about the importance of dialogue in the Mediterranean to foster cooperation, particularly in current circumstances which have seen all countries challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bartolo also emphasised how Maltese foreign policy prioritised the facilitation of peace and stability in Libya, stating that in this context, Malta sought to be proactive with all Libyan interlocutors to create the conditions for dialogue. He also expressed full support for the work of the UN and the UN Support Mission in Libya.

The minister also touched upon the Middle East Peace Process, reiterating Malta’s position in favour of a two-state solution in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions and the internationally-agreed parameters.