Bilateral relations between Malta and Austria, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Ukraine, along with multilateral positions in the United Nations Security Council, were among the key topics discussed during a meeting between Prime Minister Robert Abela and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Vienna.
At the Austrian Chancellery, Prime Minister Abela emphasized the solid foundation of relations between the two countries, aiming to strengthen cooperation for more opportunities benefiting the populations of both nations. Regarding global challenges in Europe and the Mediterranean, Abela called for increased dialogue.
While both Malta and Austria maintain neutrality, the Maltese Prime Minister clarified that neutrality does not imply a lack of firm positions promoting peace. Abela advocated for a permanent ceasefire in the Eastern Mediterranean and multilateral dialogue within the United Nations Security Council, as Malta actively does.
In the realm of gaming, an area of mutual interest, Prime Minister Abela highlighted the priority of preserving the integrity and jurisdiction of Malta in a sector where the country has been a pioneer.
He assured that licensed operators in Malta will be protected against legal challenges, emphasizing the goal of legal amendments to protect the gaming sector while adhering to European principles of a fair market. Discussions on pharmaceuticals focused on enhanced cooperation, including information exchange between medical regulators in Malta and Austria, ensuring quality, safety, and efficiency in the distribution of medicinal products.
The leaders also discussed the strategic importance of the Mediterranean region, particularly concerning immigration issues and shared responsibilities within the European Union, especially in preventing challenges and fostering cooperation with African countries such as Libya and Tunisia.
On the European stage, besides Ukraine, where both leaders spoke in favor of solidarity and peace actions, Malta played an instrumental role in facilitating the Ukraine Peace Formula. The Prime Minister and Chancellor also discussed the cooperation and support for other EU countries, particularly those in the Western Balkans.
Prime Minister Abela emphasized the EU’s commitment to cooperation with countries in this region, noting that these countries need to work on reforms in favor of human rights. He highlighted that the EU’s strategic cooperation should strengthen in other regions, including the Mediterranean, with a focus on vital sectors like energy.
In Vienna, Prime Minister Robert Abela was accompanied by the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Commerce Ian Borg, Minister for the Economy, European Funds, and the Arts Silvio Schembri, Minister for Home Affairs, National Security, Reforms, and Equality Byron Camilleri, Ambassador of Malta to Austria Natasha Meli Daudey, and the Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister Glenn Micallef.