PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PROMOTION: Diplomatic relations established with the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea

Reference Number: PR172287, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 07, 2017
 

Diplomatic relations were established between Malta and the Cook Islands, plus Papua New Guinea, at two of the five bilateral meetings held with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela on the margins of the last day of the Our Ocean conference. Minister Abela held signing ceremonies with the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna and the Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Papua New Guinea Rimbink Pato, followed by discussions on how to take these new relationships forward.

Minister Abela also met the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riad Malki,​ who thanked Minister Abela for Malta’s support at Interpol, which allowed Palestine to join the organisation. Dr Malki also thanked Malta for its unwavering support of the Palestinian cause, making particular reference to Malta being a rapporteur at the UN Committee for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. In discussions on how to further enhance relations, a visit by Minister Abela was discussed.

Enhancing relations also headed the discussion between Minister Abela and Seychelles President Danny Faure. Calling Malta “an island we need to model ourselves on”, education has so far been the main area of cooperation, yet both sides agreed to explore other areas, especially maritime, waste management, and financial services. The Commonwealth also featured in the talks, particularly Malta’s role as Chair-in-Office and the implementation of commitments made at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, which was also held in Malta.

Finally, a meeting was held between Minister Abela and Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment Vidar Helgesen, where opportunities to explore further cooperation in international fora were discussed, as well as Brexit, the single market, and migration, particularly the developments on the central migratory route, with Norway and Malta both having fulfilled their obligations in terms of satisfying the voluntary relocation quota from Italy and Greece. Reference was also made to the Norwegian funds, which Minister Abela thanked Norway for, explaining how we have utilised them for projects including the conservation of the Hypogeum and the modernisation of prison facilities. Norway will host the next Our Ocean conference in 2019, and congratulated Malta for the excellent organisation of this year’s event. 

Photo 1 - Minister Abela and Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment, Vidar Helgesen.

Photo 2 – Signing ceremony to start diplomatic relations with the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Henry Puna.

Photo 3 – Signing ceremony to start diplomatic relations with the Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of Papua New Guinea, Rimbink Pato.

Photo 4 – Minister Abela with Seychelles President, Danny Faure.

Photo 5 – Minister Abela with the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Dr Riad Malki.