On 9 December 2021, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets hosted the Foreign Minister of Malta Evarist Bartolo in Tallinn to discuss the bilateral relations of Estonia and Malta and cooperation in the European Union, the UN and other international organisations.
Foreign Minister Liimets said the bilateral relations of Estonia, which is located on the Baltic Sea, and Malta, a Mediterranean country, have always been good. “We are both border states in the European Union, so we have a similar perception of outside threats and influences,” Foreign Minister Liimets said. “Both Estonia and Malta have been caught up in historical events and the turbulent history of both countries has made our nations determined and resilient. With understanding and cooperation, small states can achieve big things.”
The ministers noted together that Europe should follow a broad security concept. We must share regional experiences to have a better understanding of each other’s concerns and come up with solutions that would reinforce security in Europe. The primacy of international law in international relations is critical for small states and we must always call for respecting it in international organisations. “Estonia is completing its membership in the UN Security Council and Malta has elections coming up in a couple of years. Our ambition to be vocal and constructive in global politics is a clear demonstration of small states understanding they have a responsibility to participate in resolving international crises and contributing to international peace,” Foreign Minister Liimets said.
The ministers also discussed the Eastern Partnership and the importance of a shared space of values, security and resilience. They also spoke about boosting regional cooperation in the European Union’s Southern Neighbourhood where the new agenda for the Mediterranean and its economic and investment plan offer additional opportunities to contribute to the socio-economic recovery of Southern Neighbourhood partners and ensuring stability in the region.
The foreign ministers talked about the Conference on the Future of Europe, which would also contribute to European unity by concentrating on the green and digital transformation and boosting the global role of the European Union.
The three-day visit of the foreign minister of Malta includes meetings with Marko Mihkelson, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament, and Education Minister Liina Kersna, and a trip to Tartu. Foreign Minister Bartolo also opened the new office of the Honorary Consulate of Malta in Tallinn.
The visit marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Malta, which were established on 1 January 1992.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia