By Sami Zaptia.
London, 1 February 2021:
Malta has a real desire to resume commercial activity with Libya soon, as well as resume the issuance of Schengen visas for Libyan citizens to enter Malta and the European Union from Tripoli.
The news was revealed by Malta’s ambassador to Libya, Charles Saliba, during his meeting last Thursday (28 January) in Tripoli with the head of Libya’s High State Council, Khaled Mishri.
Saliba had revealed that visas by his consulate will be issued to Libyans from Tripoli for the purposes of trade, study and treatment, stressing granting tourist visas will be available as soon as the exceptional circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic improve.
If the Maltese consulate does go ahead with the issuance of Schengen visas from Tripoli, it would be only the second EU country after Italy to do so since the 2014 Tripoli Libya Dawn militia coup that forced all embassies to leave Libya.
The meeting dealt with several issues of common interest, including ways to strengthen trade relations between the two countries through the return of Maltese companies to work in Libya.
Mishri had expressed the importance of the return of commercial cooperation with neighbouring Malta, especially in light of what he referred to as ‘‘the remarkable improvement in security after repelling the aggression (by Khalifa Hafter) on the capital and the western region in general’’.
He promised the Maltese side all facilities for the return of the Maltese embassy and consulate to the capital, Tripoli, would be provided.
On the point of the return of Maltese companies to Libya, Saliba affirmed that he had contacted the Malta Chamber of Commerce and a large number of companies in this regard, stressing that there is a real desire to resume commercial activity soon.