Malta Today: Malta Must be Honest with Libya and Work to Build and Stabilize it – Al Marsad

A report says Maltese authorities must play a constructive role in Libya and strengthen the peace process in the country by fighting illegal oil smuggling in Maltese waters and money laundering activities.

(LIBYA, 25 March 2021) – The report by Malta Today said that there has never been a more opportune moment for Malta to help its southern neighbour, Libya, both bilaterally and most importantly through the European Union. it said that as a historic friend, Malta should advocate for the peace dividends that benefit the Libyan people.

The report said 14 African countries are currently part of an EU-Africa trade agreement, but Libya does not feature in it. It said it was now time to include Libya, and Malta could be the interlocutor to recoup lost time. It added that Malta should first and foremost advocate for peace-building measures that lend political support to the democratic transition.

The report said that one example of these measures would be for “Malta to call for extending the scope of Operation Irini (so far tasked with monitoring the UN arms embargo in Libya) to train and further assist a cross-section of Libyan services, from security to coast guard to general administration.”

Moreover, the report said that Malta should not interfere negatively in Libya in order to pursue its own interest. Rather, “our interest should primarily be to help build a modern, well-functioning Libya that delivers prosperity for its own citizens. This should be the cornerstone of our foreign policy strategy for the peace-building and reconstruction of Libya.”

“The initiative to offer educational openings to Libyans through the University of Malta and MCAST is for instance a step in the right direction. Malta should pursue that kind of approach systematically, across several other fronts. Steering groups including Maltese stakeholders in healthcare, banking, finance and tourism could be set up to explore avenues for creative cooperation with Libya,” the report said.

It also confirmed that “There are also other steps that Malta can take at home to reduce the risks to the peace process in Libya. One clear example is our duty to fight illegal oil smuggling in Maltese waters. Another is to fight money laundering. Friendship is founded on honesty and bold decisions too.”

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)

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