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Archive for Malta

Newsline: Libyan embassy employee among three charged with drug trafficking in Malta

Three suspected drug-traffickers – one of the them an employee at the Libyan embassy – have been granted bail following their arraignment under arrest on Thursday. Tristen Kyle Pisani, 25, of Tarxien, a technician, Annajar Osama Soleman, 40, of Għargħur, working at the Libyan embassy, and Boulqassim Khalleefah Aboulqassim Almigheerbi, 32, of Swieqi, unemployed, pleaded not guilty to their alleged involvement in a drug-trafficking conspiracy and to the possession of cocaine under circumstances which indicated that the drug was not for their personal use. Inspector Justine Grech, handling the prosecution, explained how the arrests had come about after a tip-off about an underhand drug deal about to take place in Kirkop on Tuesday. Officers converging upon the indicated site came across all three men seated inside a vehicle, later found to be registered in the name of the wife of one of the suspects. The two Libyans were seated in front, while the Maltese man sat at the back. A search of the vehicle yielded a bag containing some one and a half kilos of cocaine, while €63,000 in cash were found stacked under the passenger seat.


Newsline: Embassy of Malta to Libya to return to Tripoli

Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carmelo Abela, said that the Embassy of Malta to Libya will soon return to the capital Tripoli and that a new Maltese Ambassador to Libya will be appointed. Abela made his remarks during a meeting with the Libyan UN-backed prime minister in the Libyan capital Tripoli. According to the media office of the Libyan Prime Minister, the meeting discussed mutual relations between the two countries, where Abela stressed Malta’s full support for Serraj’s government and his efforts to achieve national reconciliation and consensus in Libya.


Newsline: Malta likely to be first in EU to open Libya mission

Malta will likely become the first EU member to open an embassy in Libya, its premier said Wednesday as he visited Tripoli in a show of support for the UN-backed unity government. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is the first head of a European government to travel to Libya since the UN-backed Government of National Accord arrived in Tripoli five weeks ago. “We’ll probably become the first (EU) country to return,” Muscat said after meeting GNA chief Fayez al-Sarraj. But he stressed his country “requires guarantees” before it can press ahead with the plan to open a diplomatic mission. Many countries closed their Libyan embassies in 2014 when conflict broke out between two rival administrations in the North African nation. But several European states have announced they are considering reopening them following the arrival of the unity government on March 30. The island of Malta is the nearest European neighbour of Libya, located about only 300 kilometres (185 miles) from its shores.


Newsline: Malaysia Sends First Ambassador To The Vatican, Albania and Malta

Malaysia is appointing an ambassador to the Vatican whose portfolio would also include diplomatic relations with Malta and Albania. The ambassador, Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok will be the first Malaysian Ambassador appointed to the Vatican. Mr Dompok’s appointment has been confirmed by Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman. His office is expected to be based in Rome. Maltese travellers to Malaysia will now be able to apply for a visa through the Malaysian Embassy at the Vatican. Mr Dompok is the former Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Sabah and was Federal Minister from 2004 until 2013.


Newsline: Malta denies reports of embassy closure in Tripoli

The foreign ministry has denied media reports that Malta’s ambassador to Libya Mannie Galea has been declared a persona non grata by the Islamist-led government of Tripoli. Libya is currently locked in a civil conflict which has generally been split over the configuration of two parliaments, with its government ‘in exile’ based in Tobruk and led by Prime Minister Al Thinni after being ousted from the capital of Tripoli. “Ambassador Galea has been asked to come to Malta for consultations already some weeks ago as is usual practice. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Malta declares that as of now, there is no intention to send any Ambassador of Malta to Tobruk,” the government said. It also denied that Malta intended closing down the embassy in Tripoli. “A Charge d’Affaires ad interim will be available during the Maltese Ambassador’s absence from Tripoli.”


Newsline: Malta ‘continues to keep’ Tripoli embassy

The Maltese government reiterated its support to the Libyan people and pledged to continue to be engaged over the Libyan crisis. Malta has kept and continues to keep its embassy open in Tripoli demonstrating solidarity with all Libyans, said Foreign Affairs Minister George Vella. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has also called for disarmament and, speaking in Arabic during the UN debate, he also said that the families and the children of Libya deserved a future. Malta, who is directly affected by the conflict in Libya, has appealed to the UN to help bring together the different factions round the table.


Newsline: Malta’s court stops government from dismissing diplomat

The First Hall of the Civil Court stopped the government from dismissing Dr Antoinette Cutajar from her job as a diplomat in the public service. The decision was taken by Madam Justice Edwina Grima after Dr Cutajar submitted a request for a prohibitory injunction against the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Foreign Minister George Vella, the principal permanent secretary Mario Cutajar and the Attorney General. In handing down its decision, the court said Dr Cutajar had been employed on an indefinite contract and the government could not unilaterally dismiss her. The government had argued that Dr Cutajar had been employed on the basis of trust by the previous administration and not by public call. The diplomat, however, said that in 2007 a European Commission directive was issued requiring all those who had been employed on a year-on-year contractual basis for more than four years to be given an indefinite contract.