“We do not visit countries simply to shake hands” - PM

Prime Minister Dr Joseph Muscat said that the time is over for Malta to visit countries aimlessly while taking photos. “We will no longer visit countries to shake hands, but to obtain the best deals for Malta,” Dr Muscat insisted.

Speaking on ONE radio on Sunday morning, PM Muscat discussed the various agreements which Malta has concluded with various countries in the past weeks. Questioned on the historic agreement with Libya, Dr Muscat describes this as a new chapter in the relations between two countries.

For the first time Malta will have a cushion as it will not be exposed to international fluctuations in oil prices. “We have a memorandum of understanding, and although details have yet to be disclosed, the main agreements have been reached. This is an agreement which has been obtained wisely,” Dr Muscat reiterated.

The PM explained that the Malta-Libya Agreement will be implemented in the next months when Libya ups its oil productivity. “We have no reason to doubt their committment,” Dr Muscat said. “PM Zeidan had told us that Libya would be ready to sign by the end of this year, but they were ready to sign by September.”

On oil exploration, the PM said that Malta had agreed with Libya on joined initiatives in disputed areas. The same agreement had been reached with Italy. “On disputed areas we have been arguing and staring at each other for 40 years, with no-one getting anything. Now, at least, everyone will get his share.”

“What the previous government had not done in a quarter of a century, we have done in only five months,” Dr Muscat reiterated.

Questioned on the Ukraine- Malta agreement, Dr Muscat explained that in the past 15 years we were in the process of entering the EU, with efforts being directed to Brussels to establish ourselves in the EU. “Now we have to redirect our focus. We have to start feeling that when we’re dealing with the EU, we’re dealing with family members, so to speak.”

However, it is now pertinent to look at other countries which also have other things to offer. These include Asian countries, North African countries, and countries in the Arab Gulf. Malta had now reached an agreement with Ukraine on the removal of Double Tax, which is expected to boost the economy.

Dr Muscat also said that Ukraine and Russia have the largest airline fleet, and they currently have planes in North Africa were they currently cannot be serviced. “We offered them the possibility of servicing these planes in Malta, and they have assured us that they will look seriously into this possibility.”

On the other hand, Dr Muscat said that the US has proposed that the Institute of Justice and Rule of Law be welcomed in Malta. This institute has the aim to bring together and train judiciary officials and police officials from developing countries. This is a sign of confidence in our country, the PM said. The US will pay for this institute, and will also pay the Maltese government.

As the PM is expected to visit China next week, Dr Muscat disclosed that important discussions on Malta’s future will take place.  “We have to build on a crucial point; the Chinese respect Malta because during Mintoff’s government Malta was one of the first countries to accept China, and the Chinese are still grateful.” Dr Muscat also said that Mintoff’s visit to China had preceded that of US President Nixon. 

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Comments (3)

V.Seychell

- Mon 09-Sep-2013, 17:29

Prosit DR.MUSCAT ibqa sejjer hekk. Hekk iriduh ahna l priministru jahdem ma kulhadd u mhux ma l ewropa biss. GOD BLESS YOU

Anthony Micallef

- Mon 09-Sep-2013, 06:11

Congratulations Dr J Muscat. That is the way to go, Malta has always been at the fore front of many important political issues . It is of no use for our country to be seen as nice and friendly and no one helps when help is needed because we are deemed as too small to be bothered about.
Only good things can come out of such visits and the benfit for our country will be lasting.

Prosit and Prosit

- Sun 08-Sep-2013, 12:40

No need to elaborate on such successful results, but only to state that Dr. Joseph Muscat did not disappoint us, the 36000 majority that trusted him. He made us proud in our preference of him over Dr. Gonzi and inner circle. May God give you the gift of wisdom for the good of us Maltese.

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