Federal Councillor Cassis meets with Malta's Foreign Minister Abela in Bern (last modification, the 16.01.2018)

Press release, 16.01.2018

Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, has hosted his Maltese counterpart, Foreign Minister Carmelo Abela, on an official visit to Bern. The discussions centred on European policy, bilateral matters and the situation in the Mediterranean region.

Ignazio Cassis shakes hands with Carmelo Abela.
FDFA head Ignazio Cassis meets with Malta's Foreign Minister for bilateral talks. © Keystone

The two foreign ministers met for talks at the Von Wattenwyl House in Bern.
Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004, and it held the presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2017. Mr Cassis briefed his Maltese counterpart on the current status of Swiss-EU relations. The two foreign ministers also discussed the future of the EU and the challenges it currently faces.

The main bilateral issue discussed was the ongoing cooperation between the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) and DiploFoundation. MEDAC was established by the governments of Switzerland and Malta in 1990. It offers programmes in diplomacy and international relations, focusing on the Mediterranean region. It is housed on the campus of the University of Malta. DiploFoundation is a non-profit foundation established by Switzerland and Malta in 2002. It is committed to developing policy-making capacities in small and developing states.

International issues were also discussed, with the focus on the situation in the central Mediterranean and more specifically Libya. Other issues addressed were current developments in the Syrian conflict and the outlook for the Middle East peace process between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. Finally, the talks also covered the significance of International Geneva, particularly in relation to cyberspace and digitalisation.

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Malta

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs