The Maltese Community in the Holy Land celebrates Malta Day

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Sep 09, 2017
On Thursday, September 7th, the Maltese Community in the Holy Land met at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem, to celebrated Malta’s 53rd Anniversary of Independence, upon the invitation of Ambassador Cecilia Attard-Pirotta.

Hon. Parnis was the guest of honour at the event; in his short address to the Community he spoke about Malta’s achievements over these past 50 years and how the celebration of Independence provided an opportunity to recall the struggles and difficulties encountered by our forefather in order to safeguard the liberty and sovereignty of the state.  Hon. Parnis also spoke about Malta how it could serve as a natural bridge between Europe and North Africa.  He underlined Malta’s achievements over the years since Independence and that it had today developed into a popular tourist destination, we well as transformed itself into a highly service-based economy.  Hon. Parnis ended his message by remarking that, as international terrorism inflicted serious challenges to democracy and to the restriction of freedom, it was important to find common ground and to strive for peace, rather than to highlight differences.

The Community then listened to a video-recorded message from Minister Carmelo Abela, who is responsible for the Maltese Abroad, who expressed his pleasure at addressing the Community for the first time as Minister responsible for foreign affairs and trade promotion.  Minister Abela also spoke about Malta’s success in tourism, which had now reached the 2 million mark, thanks to what he described as the warmth, rich history and strong traditions its upholds.  Touching on Malta’s successful EU Presidency, Minister Abela referred to Malta’s past achievement and to its contribution as a global player – citing the Convention on the Law of the Seas and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change as examples.  While highlighting the country’s European values, Minister Abela referred to the recent challenges Malta has had to face, such migration; nonetheless, civil liberties were thriving, as were Malta’s economy, art and culture, as the country approaches the start of European Capital of Culture.

On her part, Ambassador Attard-Pirotta while welcoming the Hon. Parnis to this traditional event, remarked that as the Community met to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of Malta’s Independence it was this year doing so on the eve of another significant feast in Malta, which marked not only the nativity of the virgin Mary, but also marked Malta’s victory in the Great Siege of 1565, as well as the withdraw of Italy from the WWII, thus marking the end to bombardments in Malta in 1943.

While referring that after 53 years as an independent state, Malta had, for the first time, held the EU Presidency, Ambassador Attard-Pirotta remarked that 2017  will be remain a significant and special year for Malta;  it had successful steered this Presidency, held a General Election in June and served as Chair in Office of the Commonwealth until November.  Malta, the undersigned stated, was now preparing for yet another international success, as it takes over as the European Capital of Culture as of January 2018.

This part of the event ended with the playing of the Maltese National Anthem; attendees were hosted to a lunch in the same venue.  Mr. Max Zammit, Mayor of Ta’ Xbiex and Mr. Julio Blankleder, one of Malta’s Hon. Consuls in Israel, attended the event.