Chile and Malta agree to strengthen diplomatic relations

SANTIAGO – Chile and Malta have agreed to develop greater diplomatic relations between the two countries, first agreed to 28 years ago.

The agreement comes after Malta President Marie-Louise Coleriro Preca, who is on a two-day visit to Chile, was greeted Chilean President Michelle Bachelet at the entrance to the La Moneda Palace on Tuesday.

This is the first ever visit by any Malta’s head of the state to the South American country.

In the Citizens’ Plaza at Santiago, the guest laid flowers at the foot of the monument of Bernardo O’Higgins, the Chilean leader who led the country’s revolution for the country’s freedom from Spain during the Chilean Revolution.

Both the leaders presided over the Political Consultation Agreement between the two governments, an agreement that is expected to pave the way for strengthening the bilateral relations.

During the bilateral meeting, both Presidents spoke about the development of relations between the peoples and the authorities of Malta and Chile, from one based on the diplomatic relations which began in 1989, to a more profound relationship “between our communities and our governments.”

The agreement was signed by Minister for the Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera, on behalf of the Maltese Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Development.

President Coleiro Preca said that the agreement will greatly facilitate regular consultations between Malta and Chile, on bilateral, regional, and international matters of mutual interest, adding that it shall provide a platform from which “to encourage greater closeness between our nations, to move forward.”

“Despite our geographical distance, our nations are both maritime states, with much to share, mainly in the areas of trade, investment, education and tourism,” President Coleiro Preca stated, while addressing a joint press conference with President Bachelet.

She said that Malta’s upcoming hosting of the international ‘Our Oceans’ conference will continue the spirit of active innovation which characterized the conference when it was hosted by Chile in 2015.

“Although Malta is a small country in size and population, it has a unique geo-strategic position in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is at the crossroads of two continents, and has always historically been a most important cradle of civilizations and cultures. Our political connections with the rest of the world are further strengthened, by our membership within the Commonwealth and the European Union.

“Malta has always been an ideal gateway for dialogue and collaboration, to create connections across different continents and regions, and to bring together diverse communities and peoples.” the president added.

President Coleiro Preca also commended President Bachelet’s deep sense of commitments and her practical initiatives, in line with the Paris Agreement, to address the challenges presented by Climate Change.

She appealed to civil society organizations, in both Malta and Chile, to collaborate of issues of poverty, discrimination, and injustice, since both countries have a lot to learn from each other, about how best to tackle such issues, by promoting an approach rooted in universal human rights.

“This important collaboration will be evidence of our deep and common commitment, towards the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, and it’s Sustainable Development Goals. We shall ensure that we are building sustainable and effective peace, prosperity, and wellbeing, for all the families and communities of Malta and Chile, and all the peoples of our world,” the Malta leader concluded.