The Council of Maltese Living Abroad held its third meeting in Malta on 3rd and 4th October, 2013. The meeting was chaired by the Hon Dr George W Vella, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and gathered the ten representatives from among the Maltese communities established in Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and in Member States of the European Union, as well as four Government-appointed experts who hail from Malta, Gozo, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The Council discussed a variety of issues on its agenda such as the Malta Culture Institute, Maltese language teaching overseas, the teaching of the history of the Diaspora in Maltese schools, biometric passport services, banking services, and other matters that impact directly or indirectly Maltese communities in other countries.
In his opening speech, Minister Vella recognised the important role that each member of the Council had in bringing to the fore the issues that concern Maltese communities established in other countries, reiterating his Ministry’s commitment to ensure regular consultation, to facilitate the work of the Council, to identify the potential of Maltese living abroad, and to ensure strong bilateral relations with the countries where Maltese communities have been long settled.
In line with the Guiding Principles issued by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs last July, Minister Vella reiterated the Government’s commitment to strengthen its relations with the Maltese Diaspora, to maintain the momentum on the progress achieved thus far in this regard, and most importantly to carve novel niches by which the Maltese communities in other countries can assist in shedding the spotlight on Malta by identifying foreign direct investment, tapping new tourism markets and promoting Malta as an ideal destination for international conferences and incentives.