ATHENS — Malta's European & Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo expressed his full support to Greece and Cyprus during his meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias in Athens on Monday.
The Maltese minister underlined the need for a peaceful resolve of differences in the context of International Law, and further mentioned the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which, for Malta, he said, is not just "an international law that we want to preserve, but it is part of our heritage, it is part of our national DNA."
Bartolo also warned of unforeseen consequences if the current crisis in the eastern Mediterranean is not handled with 'careful moves', as he said and elaborated: "In the case of Libya we have a typical such example. When (Muammar) Gaddafi left, years ago, a president left and we ended up with two presidents, President Erdogan and President Putin. I do not think that was the original intention," he observed.
"If the EU does not do something for the South, then it leaves its southern borders in the hands of others," he said.
Referring to the situation in Libya in more detail, the Maltese minister pointed out that although there is now a ceasefire, "the social situation has deteriorated tremendously. Jobs continue to be lost, they only have power four hours a day, their currency is weakening, prices are rising and hence there is social unrest, while Libyans have started to leave their country."
"A humanitarian crisis in Libya could easily become a crisis in Europe," he said, noting that Malta is the southern-most border of the main Mediterranean route, and is particularly concerned about the situation there.