Italian President Sergio Mattarella had talks with President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at the start of a two-day state visit to Malta today.
President Coleiro Preca told a press conference that the two countries enjoyed excellent relations and were continuing to collaborate in international fora.
She said an important step in the relationship between the two countries was the successful completion of the Malta-Sicily interconnector. Malta, she said, looks forwards to the same level of cooperation for the development of a natural gas pipeline.
She also observed that Italy remains Malta’s biggest trading partner, and ranks first in imports, and fifth in exports, with bilateral trade exceeding a billion euro every year. Moreover, there are approximately 3,320 firms working in Malta with Italian shareholding.
Italy is also Malta’s second-biggest tourism source market.
The two Presidents also discussed migration. President Mattarella underlined the need to improve living conditions in countries of origin, to remove the need for migration. Conditions also needed to be improved in refugee camps in Libya.
He said the EU needed to guarantee legal or orderly routes to enter the bloc.
Original article found on Times Of Malta