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Merkel, Hollande and Cameron at summit

Angela Merkel, François Hollande and David Cameron are among the many EU leaders attending the Valletta Summit on Migration between November 11 and 12.

Angela Merkel, François Hollande and David Cameron are among the many EU leaders attending the Valletta Summit on Migration between November 11 and 12.

Security will be the top priority at this month’s migration and Commonwealth summits, but the Malta International Airport will continue to run normally, according to an MIA spokesman.

The two high-profile summits, which will see over 4,000 participants and over 43 heads of government in Malta this month, will present a number of “significant challenges” for MIA, the spokesman said.

“Our job is to maximise the space available and ensure a seamless operation. Security is the top priority and is managed in partnership with the office of the Aviation Security Malta.”

To mitigate against potentially higher security risks, the police will strengthen border control policies at the airport by implementing non-Schengen controls for all passengers between November 4 and December 3.

With such a high number of aircraft expected to land over a short period of time for both events, MIA will be adopting “exceptional arrangements” on the aerodrome to ensure there will be enough space for all these additional planes to land, park and take off again on time.

Among those who confirmed their participation at this month’s Valletta Summit on Migration are the leaders of Germany, France and the UK – Angela Merkel, François Hollande and David Cameron.

The Sunday Times of Malta is informed that all the EU heads of government confirmed their attendance, barring Cyprus and Latvia (who will be sending their foreign affairs ministers) while Poland and Portugal, where elections were held recently, and Croatia, which holds an election on November 8, have yet to confirm who will be attending. The leaders of Norway, Iceland and Switzerland will also be present.

The African heads of government who confirmed their attendance so far are those of Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Tunisia, Benin, Cabo Verde, Chad, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Gambia and Togo.

43 foreign leaders coming to migration summit

The chairwoman of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, will also be present, along with UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and William Lacy Swing, the director general of the International Organisation for Migration.

Coupled with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held between November 27 and 29, the two summits will attract well over 4,000 participants to the island, according to a government spokesman.

This does not include some 1,800 journalists from the world’s top news organisations. As a result, the island’s top 10 hotels are fully booked, while the influx of guests are expected to spill over to several other properties.

The Valletta summit will be based mainly at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, although the opening ceremony will be held at Auberge de Castille.

The EU Council has invited the nine African States party to the Khartoum Process (EU-African Union initiative aimed at tackling the trafficking and smuggling of migrants), and the 25 African States party to the Rabat Process (Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development). A number of countries have yet to confirm their attendance.

Meanwhile, over 30 heads of government have confirmed their attendance for CHOGM. Over 3,000 official delegates have also confirmed their participation in the different fora that will be organised.

French President François Hollande and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will also be attending a meeting on climate change at the Commonwealth summit.

The Radisson Golden Sands Resort will be CHOGM’s primary venue, hosting the foreign ministers’ meeting and the summit’s executive sessions.

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