Maltese PM meets Zelensky, collaboration on energy with North Africa
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the fringes of informal meetings with EU leaders in Spain. Almost 50 European leaders used the summit of the European Political Community in the southern Spanish city of Granada to stress that they stand by Ukraine. Abela also called for further dialogue among the southern EU neighbourhood, looking towards a future where collaborations between the Mediterranean states can benefit all. Emphasising that the current situation is unsustainable, Abela said the EU needs to be more proactive. “As we also agreed during the MED9 meeting, there is a need to rebuild our relationship with the southern Mediterranean,” Abela said, insisting on an asylum system that addresses the needs of all member states. On energy, Abela emphasised the EU’s need for interconnectivity between state members and North African countries, specifically in terms of renewable energy projects.
He added the Maltese government will be keeping the energy and fuel prices stable, with a security guarantee for businesses, families, and the country’s economy, until Malta converts to renewable energy. Climate change and the switch to renewable energy were at the top of the agenda. The Maltese Premier explained the realities and challenges for Malta, including the fact that it is an island at the edge of the Mediterranean, without a direct gas supply. He said that Malta currently has an electricity connection with Sicily, and plans to have the second interconnector in place by 2026. On the switch to renewable energy, Abela listed Maltàs challenges, including the limited space on land on which to install more photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. “We moved forward with an innovative concept which is currently being studied at the tendering stage – that of having panels for renewable energy as well as wind turbines offshore, in an exclusive economic zone,” explained the Maltese Premier. He also made a reference to the Memorandum of Understanding agreed with Libya so that photovoltaic panels and wind turbines are installed in Libya, and then connected to Malta, and then Malta can also export renewable energy towards Europe. Other discussions held by European leaders in this summit centred around this summer’s natural disasters.
– foto: Doi