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Malta- Libya 'non-paper' on illegal immigration

The hand-crafted cippus models to be presented to 5 + 5 foreign ministers today. Picture: Jason Borg

The hand-crafted cippus models to be presented to 5 + 5 foreign ministers today. Picture: Jason Borg

Malta and Libya have agreed to present a joint "non-paper" on illegal immigration at the 5 + 5 meeting which starts today.

The 5 + 5 is a multilateral forum between 10 countries of the Western Mediterranean - EU members Malta, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy and the five North African states of Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Algeria.

The joint "non-paper" is in harmony with EU proposals on illegal immigration but goes a step further in proposing that the discussions on the problem include the countries of origin, transition countries and reception countries.

During their stay in Malta the foreign ministers of the participating states will be given a limestone model cippus made by the School of Arts at Targa Gap.

The votive cippus dedicated to Melkart, Lord of Tyre, has Punic script and helped to have the Phoenician alphabet deciphered. It confirms Malta's links with the Greco Roman and Puneo Carthaginian cultures in history.

The original cippus, now standing at the archaeology museum in Valletta, was discovered in Malta in the vicinity of Marsaxlokk in 1697.

The presentation boxes holding the models were made by a Qormi carpenter and have a scroll explaining the significance of the cippus on parchment paper. Gaba Diamonds handled the silver plaque and design.

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