U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today met Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi to discuss bilateral issues of importance.
Secretary Clinton commended Malta’s critical role in events of Arab Spring.
“It is, for me, the opportunity that I was seeking to thank the government and people of Malta for their extraordinary response to the events of this last year and to reaffirm the strong partnership and friendship between our two countries.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed that the United States is ready to assist in every way possible with Malta’s critical role in the events of the Arab Spring and now the fall.
She thanked the prime minister for Malta’s assistance in evacuating American citizens and Embassy staff from Libya earlier this year.
“The prime minister, the entire government, and many private citizens went the extra mile to get our people home safely, and we are very grateful.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that there’s no doubt that Malta will continue to play a critical role in helping to establish the rule of law and providing health and education services and to help create an inclusive government that will represent all Libyans from all areas of the country, and of course including the women of Libya.
“Malta’s unique geography, history, and expertise will make it a valued partner in this work.” -Ms. Clinton
She said they discussed their shared interest in keeping the Mediterranean safe from illicit nuclear materials and enforcing international sanctions against Iran’s proliferation activities. She said the United States appreciates Malta’s leadership in this area, including its work with the international community to interdict prohibited Iranian cargo, to deny port access to ships that are bearing illegal cargoes, and working as a good partner in the enforcement of United Nations sanctions.
“All of these efforts underscore that while Malta may be a small nation in size, its contributions to regional peace and security are significant. And the United States highly values this partnership, and we look forward to working even more closely in the future.” -Ms. Clinton