The issue in the Eastern Mediterranean must be resolved in a spirit of compromise, but compromise does not mean capitulation, Maltese Foreign and European Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo said after talks with Foreign Minister Nikos Christos on Friday.
“There is a difference between compromise and capitulation. “We know the compromise is painful, but we also know that the choice of military conflict will be much more painful,” he said, noting that as a small island nation, Malta wants international law recognized and a peaceful settlement of disputes.
Mr Bartolo also denied media reports that his country would offer an air base to Turkey, calling the allegations “complete nonsense”.
Asked about his country's position on the issue of EU sanctions against Turkey, Mr Bartolo said the issue was still being discussed, noting that it was important to make sure what they were doing was effective. “It's important that what we do is effective. “Will we be happy with symbolic measures?” He said.
“Let us do this with effective measures, let us be clear that what we are doing is effective measures,” he said, noting that the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is bad and could get worse unless we do our best. “And we are ready to do our best,” he said.
He said that sometimes they do something with a specific intention, such as the change of regime in Libya, and the end result is that the situation gets worse.
For his part, Mr. Christodoulidis, referring to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, said that “we must act in a fast and decisive way in order to protect peace and stability around our common area.”
“I emphasized that we, as EU Member States, are committed to defending the basic principles on which the EU is based and that there can be no two measures and two weights or selective sensitivity in relation to the EU position on issues. authorities, “he said.
During their talks, the two Ministers also discussed the Cyprus issue, the Cyprus-Malta bilateral relations, the Immigration, and the situation in Syria, Lebanon and Libya.
In his remarks, Mr Bartolo described as “completely nonsense” media reports that Malta would offer an air base to Turkey, noting that his country was an independent democracy, a neutral country with no military bases. “And we do not want to go back, we want to go forward,” he said.
“We want to live in peace with as many countries as possible. “We do not want, like Cyprus, to harm other countries, but we do not want other countries to harm us,” he said.
He noted that as a small island state “we can identify with the position and situation in which Cyprus is”, he pointed out.
“If Malta were in the position of Cyprus and Cyprus in the position of Malta, we would demand the same rights and defend the same interests,” he noted.
“As a small island state like you, we want recognition of international law. We want the differences to be resolved peacefully. The issue in the Eastern Mediterranean – and we know how complex and difficult it is – must be resolved in a spirit of compromise. But compromise does not mean capitulation. “There is a difference between compromise and capitulation,” he said.
“We know that compromise is painful, but we also know that the choice of military conflict will be much more painful,” he said.
He expressed hope that efforts to reach a settlement would be fruitful, noting that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel are taking part in those efforts.
The Maltese Foreign Minister also expressed the wish for a solution of the Cyprus problem and reunification of the country, expressing the hope that the young people of Cyprus will be able to live in a free and united Cyprus.
For his part, Mr. Christodoulidis said, among other things, that he informed Mr. Bartolo about the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean “which, unfortunately, is becoming more and more worrying”.
“Turkey threatens the collective interests of the EU and the stability of the region. We need to act quickly and decisively in order to protect peace and stability around our common area. I emphasized that we, as EU Member States, are committed to defending the basic principles on which the EU is based and that there can be no two measures and two weights or selective sensitivity to the EU's position on principles. “, He said.
He added that the Mediterranean now faces many and unprecedented challenges that do not recognize borders and make it necessary for all countries to work together in the spirit of good neighborly relations and on the basis of international law.
He also expressed gratitude for Malta 's supportive stance on Cyprus' reunification efforts, through a comprehensive settlement based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the EU acquis, values and principles.