During a joint press conference with the Leaders of the southernmost states of the European Union during the Med 7 Summit organised by the French Presidency on the island of Corsica, Prime Minister Robert Abela has reiterated that pressure emanating from the migratory route in the centre of the Mediterranean has been escalating for some time. He added that, “We can no longer manage this crisis boat by boat and the European Union can no longer abandon frontline countries like Malta.”
Prime Minister Robert Abela reiterated that this issue is lacking the importance it deserves on the European agenda and although he acknowledged the help provided by some countries are giving, cases of immigrants left on boats in the middle of the Mediterranean often due to disagreements are all too frequent.
Prime Minister Abela reminded that the European Union has repeatedly made commitments with regard to immigration, but when these commitments reach the implementation phase, particularly with regard to the fight against criminal circles which conduct illegal immigration in the area, very little is actually done. He also mentioned the importance of Libya and the African continent in the context of immigration. “The Mediterranean Sea is the only thing that separates the European Union from another continent and therefore the need for close cooperation is important not only for the security of the countries of the European Union but for peace, economic development and prosperity in the region,” said Prime Minister Abela.
Prime Minister Robert Abela also referred to what is happening in the Eastern Mediterranean and showed solidarity with his Greek and Cypriot colleagues. “We are looking at the situation in this part of the Mediterranean, but we must reiterate that Malta is a neutral country, and therefore our position is clear, that the sovereignty of countries must be respected on the basis of laws. Dialogue is the main vehicle for this situation,” concluded Prime Minister Robert Abela.
The leaders of France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal also spoke at the press conference.