Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo participated in an important conference in Libya which has brought together the highest authorities of the country, heads of institutions, members of parliament, academics, professionals, journalists, human rights organisations and the vast majority of the elders of tribes from all around Libya.
Upon an invitation from the Preparatory Commission of the Second Sirte Conference and the Libyan Foreign Affairs Ministry, Minister Bartolo was among the distinguished speakers at this conference which is offering new hope for stability and peace in Libya.
In fact, this is the second conference of its kind in Libya, with the first being held almost a hundred years ago in 1922 when the Libyan people were going through a similar plight. Back then, as with the present conference, the Libyans sat together to heal the wounds and shape their own future as a sovereign and independent state.
In 1922 the conference was called Sirte 1 while today's conference was named Sirte 2 as a sign of optimism that this replica process could truly unite the country. In this context, the conference is being regarded as a positive development in Libya's national political scene.
In his speech, Minister Evarist Bartolo made an analogy comparing the map of Libya with a human heart, explaining that for the heart to beat and man to live, its various parts must work together towards one goal.
If the different parts do not work together, and even worse, if they fight against each other, the heart stops and the person dies. The same applies to Libya – all the different parts and people of Libya must come together and work together for their country to survive.
Expressing solidarity with the Libyan people who have been suffering for years and are enduring very poor conditions with lack of basic services such as electricity and water, Minister Bartolo stressed that the only solution to overcoming this plight remains constructive political dialogue. He stated that while compromise hurts, fighting and war hurts even more.
The minister added that those who truly love Libya want a united Libya in the hands of Libyans who are allowed to live in peace and stability. Among them is Malta which, as a friendly neighbouring country, despite its small size, is playing its genuine role in helping Libya get back on its feet.
Minister Bartolo called on all parties to put their differences aside and work together for the common good of all Libyans. “A united Libya could be one of the wealthiest and prosperous countries in the Mediterranean. It is your country, take it back, and work together", he concluded.