Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the 5+5 Western Mediterranean Dialogue held in Malta

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Jan 19, 2019
 
Malta hosted the 15th Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 5+5 Western Dialogue on 17th and 18 th January 2019.  This ministerial meeting was co-chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelkader Messahel, as current co-presidents of the 5+5 foreign ministers.
 
Participants at the meeting were the foreign ministers of Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, Secretary-General of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Taieb Baccouche, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) Elisabeth Guigou, Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Nasser Kamel, and President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean Pedro Roque also participated as partners.
 
Foreign ministers adopted the Valletta Declaration on ‘Working Together: A Sustainable Future for the Western Mediterranean’ having three overarching themes – sustainable development, youth, migration and mobility. They exchanged views on the challenges being faced in the Mediterranean region and discussed important regional matters of mutual concern such as the situation in Libya the Middle East Peace Process and the Sahel.  Migration, climate change and the fight against terrorism and radicalisation were also among the topics of discussion. Minister Abela underscored Malta’s conviction that dialogue leads to the creation of joint initiatives to further “our pursuit of sustainable development and achieving stability, security and prosperity in our region”.  
 
The importance of youth was also widely highlighted as they remain at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and are an asset and a solution to development challenges in the region.  To this effect, for the first time ever, a breakfast meeting was also held, in cooperation with the Anna Lindh Foundation, with a number of young leaders concurrently participating in the Young Mediterranean Voices New Leadership Seminar, which was also being held in Malta. Minister Abela described this exchange as an enriching experience which connected the political leadership with the youths from the regions, and contributed to the overall success of this ministerial meeting.
 
Foreign Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian also launched the ‘Sommet des Deux Rives’ which will take place in Marseille in June 2019.  A French initiative, the summit will seek to generate new momentum in the Western Mediterranean through an inclusive and open agenda that gives an important role to the region’s particularly active civil society.
 
At the end of the meeting, Minister Abela thanked the Algerian co-presidency for its work over the past two years ,and welcomed the announcement by Libya to take over the Southern co-presidency for the next two years.
 
This meeting was preceded on 17th January 2018 by the 8th High-level Meeting of the National Parliaments of the Member States of the 5+5 Dialogue, hosted by the House of Representatives.


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