UK Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday encouraged Maltese businesses to prepare for the exciting opportunities that would result from the “opening up” of Libya and other North African countries.
“This is one of the rays of hope in a difficult world economy,” he said, adding that though the UK was still advising against all but essential travel to Libya, due to continued fighting, things might take off very quickly.
He explained that the no-fly zone had to be retained until the Libyan National Transitional Council felt it was safe to lift and that the Libyan government was understandably still being very cautious when it came to issuing visas. But both issues were being dealt with to ensure the reconstruction of Libya could begin as soon as possible…
He told the business delegation that the UK would focus on areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, oil and gas, education, telecoms and financial services – all of which offered potential for “overlap” with Malta. He said businesses should take full advantage of the opportunities that would arise once the rich country stabilises.
By William Hague
The late President Emeritus Prof Guido de Marco once said there can be “No peace in the Mediterranean without peace in the Middle East, and no peace in Europe without peace in the Mediterranean”. Malta’s position at the heart of the Mediterranean, just 180 miles from Libya, gives her a unique insight into the Arab Spring. The crises in North Africa, in particular Libya, continue to have far-reaching implications for the peace and stability of the region and both our countries’ security.
“I pay tribute… to Malta for her invaluable logistical support”
The bravery and sacrifice of the Maltese people during the Second World War is legendary, and an inspiration to all nations who face oppression and tyranny today; quite rightly she has the honour of being the first ever collective recipient of the George Cross.