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Jibril in Malta: Concern that 'Gaddafi thugs' may use Malta to evade justice or plan destabilising actions

Tonio Fenech to lead trade delegation to Libya

Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said this evening that one of the purposes of his visit to Malta was to discuss how the borders of the revolution could be secured from all sides.

He said that security and stability were a must for Libya and it was no coincidence that he had come here on his first stop after yesterday's conference in Paris. The purpose was to discuss the security of the borders, ensuring that there was security for the revolution at all borders.

Replying to questions as a press conference after talks with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi,  Dr Jibril confirmed that as in the case of all other countries bordering Libya, Malta could be used as a base for former regime functionaries to escape justice or to launch destabilising actions in Libya.

Libya's national security could not be isolated from Malta's national security.

Dr Gonzi said that Malta would not provide cover to anyone who sought to escape justice. Malta respected the rule of law and this would be applied.

Earlier, before going into the talks, Dr Jibril said it needed to be ensured that illegal immigration was not used by 'Gaddafi thugs' to escape Libya and infiltrate Maltese soil.

Dr Jibril expressed his appreciation for the help given by Malta to the Libyan people during the uprising. The Libyan people's cause was a just cause and the Maltese were among the first to recognise it, he said. Malta had always been there for the Libyan people, also being a gateway for them during the air embargo in the 1980s.

The purpose of his visit, Dr Jibril said, was threefold – to express appreciation, to highlight the logistical support given by Malta, which was enabling humanitarian aid flows into Libya, and to discuss security. 

Also discussed were other issues which would impact on future bilateral relations, including the reactivation of the Malta-Libya joint commission, which, Dr Jibril said, was 'a good idea'. 

Dr Gonzi said a new page was being written in relations between Malta and Libya, and the Libyan people themselves were writing a new page in their nation's history.

He said that one now had to design the future together. Malta was the closest EU member state to Libya and they had discussed the most urgent priorities for Libya, including security and stability, a process of national reconciliation, the building of democratic institutions and humanitarian aid.

Malta, Dr Gonzi said, would do its best to bring about the early release of Libyan assets which could then be used for the humanitarian aid for Libya, as indicated by the National Transitional Council.

He said that also discussed in his talks with Dr Jibril were education, tourism, business and other areas of common interest.

Dr Gonzi said that Finance Minister Tonio Fenech – who attended the talks – would shortly lead a trade delegation to Libya for follow-up talks.

Questioned on the extension to the surrender deadline given to Gaddafi loyalists, Dr Jibril said the extension was meant to give a fair chance for negotiations to succeed, averting further conflict, but if this period was exploited by Gaddafi loyalists to mobilise their forces, that concession could be revoked.

On the building of democratic institutions, Dr Jibril said starting the process was difficult, but the Libyan people were determined to move that process forward.

 
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