Yesterday Malta marked the 30th anniversary of the Bush-Gorbachev Malta Summit when in December 1989, the Cold War came to an end in Malta. The event was organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion in collaboration with the Fondazzjoni Celebrazzjoni Nazzjonali (FCN), under the End of Cold War memorial in Birzebbuġa. It celebrated the historic event occurring on December 2nd, 1989, in the same place, between the 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush and former Soviet Union leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, just a few weeks following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In his address, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela recalled how in December 1989, Malta experienced the harshest weather that we could recall for years. A storm that did not dishearten people of good will and did not stand in the way of their determination to herald the beginning of a new era.
The minister recalled how in the fall of the Berlin Wall, Malta closely witnessed a newfound hope, and made it its own. “We are very proud today to stand here to commemorate what was achieved in Malta”, said Minister Abela. He noted how at the time, the decision to host this historic event here in Malta was symbolic, not only because of our country’s geostrategic position at the very heart of the Mediterranean, but also due to Malta’s policy of neutrality. He said how Malta has for decades cemented its vocation as a neutral country in the pursuit of peace and prosperity through dialogue and diplomacy. “This country has sought to serve as a bridge-builder between East and West, North and South”, said Minister Abela.
Throughout his address Minister Abela made reference to a statement made by former Soviet Union leader, Mikhail Gorbachev who said that, “the Malta Summit in 1989 was so important that, if it had not taken place, the world out there would be unrecognisable to the one in which we live today”. He also made reference to a statement made by the late President George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, who said that, “we can realise a lasting peace and transform the East-West relationship to one of enduring cooperation. That is the future that Chairman Gorbachev and I began right here in Malta”.
Minister Abela concluded that as Malta’s election to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2023-2024 approaches, Malta shall remain focused on promoting the UN Charter’s principles of peace and security.