Minister Carmelo Abela underlined commitment to forge stronger links with Turkey
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela underlined Malta’s commitment to forge stronger ties with Turkey. While addressing a Turkey-Malta Business Council Meeting in Istanbul on 23 January 2019, the minister stated trade relations between Malta and Turkey stand on a solid platform, as both countries continue to maintain the steady economic growth experienced in recent years.
Pointing out that relations between the two countries evolved at an unprecedented pace, ever since they were established in 1967, Minister Abela said that presently we are witnessing the achievements resulting out of the pursuit of this policy. The bilateral legal framework shared between the two countries confirms the versatile ties between Malta and Turkey covering several areas of cooperation and understanding. These sectors include the Maltese-Turkish Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO), cooperation in health care and medical science, maritime cooperation as well as collaboration in education. In his address to the Turkey-Malta Business Forum, which was organised as part of a state visit to Turkey by President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca, Minister Carmelo Abela touched upon these main achievements.
The diverse and dynamic ties between Malta and Turkey were qualitatively enhanced by the inauguration of Malta’s Embassy in Ankara on 13 December 2017, expanding Malta’s political role in Turkey. To match this landmark achievement and the string of repeat business consultations heightening thriving patterns in bilateral trade, 2018 also brought about an increase in tourism.
“Moving forward, I am of the firm belief that Malta and Turkey should continue to find new ways of making the most of their positions as gateways to their respective regions by taking advantage of the excellent air and sea connections. The private sector will play a key role in this cooperation. Partnership and joint ventures could provide Maltese exporters with access not only to the Turkish market but also to countries in Central Asia and the Middle East. At the same time, trade routes through Malta could provide better access to West Africa to Turkish entrepreneurs.”
During the official talks with the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and with the Vice-President of the Republic of Turkey Fuat Oktay, the positive and vibrant relations between Malta and Turkey were underlined. Both sides agreed that there is further scope to consolidate economic, trade and cultural ties. Discussions also touched upon issues of international importance such as developments in the Mediterranean within the context of migration, the situation in Libya and Syria, and in the Middle East.
Political consultations also focused on Turkey’s EU aspirations. Malta conveyed its long-lasting support for Turkey on its path to align with the EU acquis, based on Malta’s conviction that Turkey is a key partner for the EU. This state visit unfolds a month after the most recent visit to Malta by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on 21 December 2018, and following several exchanges at the highest levels, which demonstrate the strong value attached to the bilateral relations between Malta and Turkey.
In Ankara, both foreign ministers exchanged views on a number of issues during the meeting that was held in the Presidential Palace. The Maltese delegation was accompanied by Malta’s Ambassador to Turkey Carmel Vassallo and the Consul General in Istanbul Franklin Aquilina. Ambassador Fiona Formosa, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion was also part of the delegation.