Maltese FM: We Work with the UN to Encourage Libyan Elections

The Maltese Foreign Minister, Ian Borg
The Maltese Foreign Minister, Ian Borg

The Maltese Foreign Minister, Ian Borg, said that Malta is working with the United Nations (UN) Secretary General and also with the UN Special Representative to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, to encourage Libyans to hold elections.

In an interview with the Malta Independent newspaper, Borg confirmed Malta’s close ties with Libya. He highlighted a number of international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) who said that Libya is not a safe country for migrants.

“I don’t think our position is far from whoever says that there are non-safe aspects about Libya. But let’s speak about facts. The capital closest to us, geographically, is Tripoli, more so than Rome. We were born here, in Malta. We are close to Libya and one tries to have the best relationship with their neighbours,” noted.

He said the Maltese government does well to continue strengthening its relationship with whoever could contribute to a stable Libya.

“There is no political stability in Libya. In fact there is a transitional government. (…) We need to Libya’s current government to go for an election that was meant to have been held over a year ago,” he said.

Asked whether Malta should be cooperating with Libya on migration he said: “but what can you do? If the Home Affairs Ministry don’t work with their counterparts in Libya, with whom should they work?”

He called on the Libyans to agree on a constitution, and a political project to hold the elections.

The Maltese Foreign Minister said that the problem in Libya is that it is an enormous country with many resources and so there are countries and businesses that have an interest in what happens in Libya.

“The Libyans respect us not only because we are their neighbours, but because they know we are not the type to tell them what to do (…) We do not interfere in their democratic process, who they give contracts for oil or construction to,” he said.