On Tuesday September 17 2013, newly-appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Malta to the United States, Ms Marisa Maria Louise Micallef, presented her credentials to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, at the White House in Washington DC. The US President extended a warm welcome to her and her daughter and stated that he looks forward to working closely to deepen the already close relations between the two countries.
President Obama also underscored that her appointment marks an historic moment for Malta, as she is the first female Maltese Ambassador to the United States. The US president applauded Prime Minister Muscat's efforts to ensure equal rights for minority groups in Malta and added that the United States is committed to working with Malta to address the challenge of migrants and refugees.
The President of the United States noted that Malta and the US share a long history of friendship. From the early days of American history, when American ships came under attack in the Mediterranean, to the recent upheaval in North Africa, Malta has always opened her ports to Americans in need. Equally striking was President Obama's observation that when visiting the Governor's Palace in Valletta in 1943, President Roosevelt described Malta as "one tiny bright flame in the darkness" – a beacon of hope for the clearer days which have come. President Obama remarked that today, Malta still shines as a model for democracy, prosperity and freedom in the Mediterranean region.
President Obama also noted Malta's remarkable resilience in the midst of the global economic crisis with an economy that remains vibrant and augured that during the Ambassador's tenure, Malta's economy will continue to flourish and that the already strong economic relationship
between the two countries will continue to expand.