Acting President of the Republic, President of the House of Representatives, Demetris Syllouris received Malta’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo on Friday, who called for more EU solidarity with frontline countries.
Bartolo, who is on a working visit to Cyprus, said a joint European approach is needed as regards migration, based on a fair sharing of the burden among EU member states.
According to a press release, Syllouris referred to the close cooperation between Cyprus and Malta, noting that as small island states the two countries depend on international law to defend their rights and interests.
Bartolo said any differences should be resolved based on international law, and expressed his wish for the reunification of Cyprus and the solution of the Cyprus problem on this basis.
Bartolo meets with Cypriot counterpart
In his meeting with the Republic of Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, Bartolo said tensions in the eastern Mediterranean need to be resolved in a spirit of compromise, however compromise does not mean capitulation.
“We know that compromise is painful, but we also know that the option of military conflict will be even more painful,” Bartolo said.
Bartolo refuted reports claiming that Malta would offer Turkey an air base, describing the allegations as “absolute nonsense.”
Asked about his country's position on the issue of EU sanctions against Turkey, Bartolo said the issue was still being discussed, noting that it was important to make sure that what they were doing was effective. "It is important that what we do is effective. Will we be happy with symbolic measures?"
For his part, Christodoulides said that "we must act quickly and decisively in order to protect peace and stability around our common region."
"I emphasize that we, as EU Member States, are committed to defending the basic principles on which the EU is based and that there cannot be double standards or selective sensitivity.”
During their talk, the two Ministers also discussed the Cyprus issue, Cyprus-Malta bilateral relations, migration, and the situation in Syria, Lebanon and Libya.