Malta starts preparations to open consulate in Benghazi

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 May, 2021 at 1:44 pm by Andre Camilleri

A Maltese government delegation has visited Libya with the aim of starting the necessary preparations for Malta to open a consulate in the city of Benghazi, the government said.

The delegation, led by the Permanent Secretary for Foreign and European Affairs, Christopher Cutajar, paid a visit to Tripoli and Benghazi.

The delegation held meetings with the Mayor of Benghazi, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture, and the General Board coordinating Privatization and Investment in Benghazi. A visit was also made to the port of Benghazi where the delegation spoke to both the port management and the port authority, and observed the operations of the port itself. During these meetings the areas of cooperation in the maritime field, that of the reconstruction of buildings, and of collapsed bridges, the development of technology related to industry and investment in waste separation and renewable energy, were highlighted.

Cutajar said that “While the effect that the conflicts have had on the city of Benghazi over the last decade is huge, as we have been able to see whole areas of demolished buildings; the people we met showed the required resolve to see this city rebuilt and its economic activity grow, as is appropriate to increase opportunities for the future of the Libyans themselves.”

During this visit, a meeting was held with the Bishop in Tripoli, Mons. George Bugeja, as well as the Apostolic Administrator in Benghazi Fr. Sandro Overend. During the meeting with Bishop Bugeja in Tripoli, the Permanent Secretary presented two candles to be placed in the Church, which were handed to him by the relatives of the late Sancto Micallef and Emanuel Mifsud, who had tragically died on an airplane which in December 1992 exploded in mid-air on flight number 1103 between Benghazi and Tripoli, in circumstances that are still unknown to this day. It is not excluded that these fellow Maltese, along with all the other passengers, fell victim to an infamous plot.

During this visit, meetings were also held with senior officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and other Ministries in Tripoli. The Ambassador to Malta, Charles Saliba facilitated these meetings and accompanied the delegation, which was composed of three other officials. This visit continues to bode well in strengthening relations between Malta and Libya, while in itself, it is a clear demonstration of the full commitment that Malta is offering with a view to fostering peace, dialogue and economic ties with our neighbouring country, the government said.

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