Updated: Reference to security removed from minister's speech
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Updated: Reference to security removed from minister's speech

A reference to security in a speech given this morning by Foreign Minister Tonio Borg was removed from an updated version of the speech sent to the media this evening.

While a copy of the speech given to the media in the morning included the sentence: "However there is no doubt that this phenomenon is becoming a security issue", this was removed from a version sent this evening to replace the morning copy.

The minister was speaking on illegal migration during a public dialogue on the priorities of the new EU presidency, Dr Borg said:

"We strongly encourage the Swedish Presidency to put the issue of Illegal Immigration at the forefront so as to alleviate the weight from the shoulder of Malta and other countries in the Mediterranean region facing similar difficulties.

"A just burden sharing mechanism would permit Malta to continue contributing effectively to the workings of the European Union.

"We look forward to work with the Swedish Presidency in this regard."

He said that Malta had stretched its financial and human resources to accommodate all arrivals but the situation was becoming untenable.

The country intended to continue honouring its international obligations vis-à-vis genuine refugees and with persons who qualified for humanitarian protection.

It had always dealt with these situations with great humanity and benevolence paying due respect to every human being without exception, the minister said.

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