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PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR HOME AFFAIRS, NATIONAL SECURITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT: Malta continues to send a message in favour of stability in the Mediterranean

Reference Number: PR201380en, Press Release Issue Date: Jul 20, 2020
During an official visit to Ankara, Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement Byron Camilleri conveyed the message that Malta will continue being proactive in initiatives aimed at combating organised crime that hampers the stability of the Mediterranean. 

Minister Camilleri paid an official visit to Ankara at the invitation of Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar. The visit to the Turkish capital focused on areas of defence and security in the Mediterranean and followed the discussion on the same topics that took place in Malta earlier this month, during an official visit of the Turkish Minister of Defence. 

Malta and Turkey are in advanced talks to develop a collaboration agreement to fight transnational crime. The main principle behind this agreement is for authorities in the two countries to collaborate on the prevention and investigation of serious criminal offences such as terrorism, money laundering, and the trafficking of drugs, weapons and persons.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar explained how Turkey considers Malta as a strategic country in the Mediterranean, which has a lot to contribute to the safeguarding of peace and stability in the region. He offered the help of Turkish authorities in the fight against people smugglers in the central Mediterranean.

During the visit to Ankara, tripartite meetings were also organised between the ministers responsible for national security and defence of Malta, Turkey and Libya. The three countries emphasised the importance of finding a political solution in Libya, based on a ceasefire and national unity.

At another meeting between Minister Camilleri and Libyan Defence Minister Fathi Bashagha, the issue of illegal migration was discussed further. Both sides acknowledged that, although the Libyan authorities are succeeding in stopping many of the illicit crossings in the central Mediterranean, there are still challenges that require the commitment of both countries.

Minister Camilleri also met with Turkish Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu, with whom various topics regarding law enforcement and civil protection were discussed. The Maltese delegation also included officials from the Maltese government, including Malta’s Ambassador-designate to Turkey Theresa Cutajar and the Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta Jeffrey Curmi.