Reference Number: PR172393en, Press Release Issue Date: Oct 26, 2017
Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Minister Carmelo Abela attends the OSCE Mediterranean Conference in Palermo. Reiterates Malta’s Proposal for the Appointment of an OSCE Special Representaitve for the Mediterranean

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, participated in the Mediterranean Conference of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in Palermo on 24 and 25 October 2017, organised this year by the Italian Government as current Chair of the Mediterranean Contact Group.

The main theme of the 2017 OSCE Mediterranean Conference was the challenges and opportunities, which result from migration across the Mediterranean region.

In his address to the Conference, Minister Abela echoed his desire to see Libya join the ranks of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation at the earliest possible. He also focused on the need for a holistic horizontal approach to the Mediterranean as well as a more wholesome engagement with the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation in the decision-shaping of the OSCE in terms of the Mediterranean.

We cannot holistically address migration (including human trafficking, arms control, xenophobia, islamophobia, etc...) without acknowledging the imperative role of the Euro-Mediterranean dimension of the OSCE, he said, adding that the role of the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation is pivotal if we need to fine-tune our relationship with our Partners not solely on the level of granting of joint projects, but, more importantly, on their integral involvement in decision-shaping for the planning of the organisation.

As on other occasions, the Minister echoed Malta’s proposal of the appointment of an OSCE Special Representative for the Mediterranean. He added that without this visionary role, the OSCE is missing out on identifying the overarching, horizontal approach to the Mediterranean region.  This approach is crucial if we are to take seriously the security challenges and opportunities arising from the Mediterranean region.  

Minister Abela also held meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Hungary and Serbia and with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey discussing bilateral relations between Malta and the respective countries