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Muscat calls for unilateral action if Libya visas dispute persists

Dr Joseph Muscat speaking this morning.

Dr Joseph Muscat speaking this morning.

Labour leader Joseph Muscat said today that enough time had passed in the Libya-Switzerland visas dispute, which is affecting Malta, and the PL would back the government if it took unilateral action to safeguard the national interest.

Foreign Minister Tonio Borg, who visited Tripoli on Monday and Tuesday, said yesterday that Malta was prepared for 'any eventuality' if the dispute persisted.

Dr Muscat, who was speaking at a PL conference, said the PL had so far stayed silent on this matter and tried to help through its contacts.

The party also positively noted the efforts of the Maltese government.

"However we now feel that enough time has passed, and we cannot continue to have so many Maltese workers in Libya, and so many businesses, in the limbo of uncertainty.

"The time has come for action by the Maltese government, even unilateral action, to safeguard the national interest and the interests of Maltese families.

"Solutions are limited, but they exist, in order to ensure that Maltese workers and business have access to Libya without difficulty and without losing the competitive edge which Malta enjoys," Dr Muscat said.

"We believe that the government is evaluating these possibilities as well. We can assure the government of our backing if it makes these choices in the national interest. We should never shirk or be ashamed of defending our interests in order to safeguard our competitiveness."

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