Speaker Farrugia: "Israel and Malta are key democracies in the Mediterranean Basin, and we must use democratic values to work together and resolve our common problems – threats such as terror, ISIS, Hamas, the refugee issue and more.
(Communicated by the Knesset Spokesperson)
The Speaker of Malta’s House of Representatives, Angelo Farrugia, visited the Knesset on Tuesday as the guest of Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. After laying a wreath at the memorial for fallen IDF soldiers and signing the Knesset guestbook, he and Edelstein held a working meeting also attended by MK Orly Levi-Abekasis, who heads the Israel-Malta Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Speaking before the meeting, Edelstein told his Maltese counterpart, "You certainly know how a democratic parliament operates, and we were here until dawn to vote [on bills] before the end of the winter assembly. Malta and Israel are neighboring countries, and in the current situation in the Mediterranean Basin, it is very important that we join hands in the face of mutual threats and problems. It is important that we work together, certainly on the parliamentary level."
Speaker Farrugia said, "Israel and Malta are key democracies in the Mediterranean Basin, and we must use democratic values in order to work together and resolve our common problems – threats such as terror, ISIS, Hamas, the refugee issue and more. Parliament with parliament – that is the correct path for real dialogue and an open exchange of ideas. This is a great honor for me, and I am happy to be the first Maltese parliament speaker to visit the Knesset."
Following his meeting with Edelstein, Farrugia met with opposition leader Isaac Herzog and MK Mickey Levy. Later, he met with members of the Israel-Malta Parliamentary Friendship Group.
During the plenary sitting, which was observed by Farrugia from the VIP gallery, Edelstein said, "We are glad to host the important representatives of a friendly country which shares with us an ancient history in the Mediterranean Sea area." Malta, the Knesset Speaker said, is one of the few countries whose area and population are smaller than Israel’s, but over the years it has developed "significant capabilities in the fields of industry, electronics, and more."
Edelstein mentioned that Malta will hold the six‐month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in 2017, and said, "I am convinced that its sympathetic position towards Israel will assist us in our activity in this important institution."