The Summit of the Two Shores, which was officially launched in Valletta in January 2019, welcomed the Foreign Ministers of the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue on 24 June at the Palais du Pharo in Marseille, together with representatives of a number of regional and international organisations and institutions and civil society representatives gathered, according to a press statement issued by the government’s Department of Information (DOI).
Malta hosted one of the five preparatory forums in April 2019 held in the run-up to the summit which focused on youth, education and mobility.
The forum entitled “Investing in a Mediterranean Generation” brought together mostly youths from the region who spoke about their aspirations for the region. Maltese civil society representatives attended these five fora and have already received positive reactions from potential development partners, as the press release says.
President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron engaged with the ten Chefs de File, including Simone Borg from Malta, the main representatives of civil society from each participating state that spoke on their experiences and their aspirations for the future, according to the DOI press release.
The Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela, who was accompanied by Malta’s Ambassador to the Republic of France Helga Mizzi, highlighted the significant role played by civil society in this process, placing emphasis on youth potential and on the need to seize this opportunity to open up space for youth-led initiative in the region.
At the end of the summit, Mr Abela held a courtesy meeting with the recently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Algeria Sabri Boukadoum, wherein they discussed the enhancement of bilateral relations.