Libyan, Italian, Maltese foreign ministers to discuss migration

The Libyan, Italian and Maltese foreign ministers will meet in December to discuss cooperation on illegal immigration, Malta and Libya announced today.

The announcement was made at the end of a meeting, in Malta, of the Libya-Malta Joint Commission co-chaired by the foreign ministers of the two countries. Malta and Libya also agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Search and Rescue at the earliest possible opportunity in the current year.

Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Rahman Shalgam arrived in Malta yesterday and had separate talks with President Eddie Fenech Adami (picture), Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and Foreign Minister Tonio Borg.

The two countries in a joint statement also announced that a double taxation avoidance agreement would be signed by the end of this year.

“Both sides took note of the concrete proposals on the table regarding oil exploration and that further discussions will take place on this issue at the technical and political levels,” the statement said.

During the talks, Malta sought a number of permits for Maltese fishing boats to work in the Libyan protected fishing zones. The Libyan authorities promised to study the request.

Malta offered to provide expertise to enhance the level of Libyan fishing products to conform with the requirements of the market in European Union countries, an offer which was welcomed by Libya. A delegation of Maltese experts will visit Libya shortly for further talks.

Malta would be studying a Libyan proposal for cooperation between the Central Banks of the Mediterranean in view of the current international financial crisis.

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