Robert Abela was at the United Nations General Assembly this week for his yearly outing in New York. He held bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Georgia and Andorra, countries with whom Malta has barely any trade. He also said that Malta is a voice for countries impacted by rising sea levels which is strange because the Maltese Prime Minister didn’t meet with any representatives from the nations being impacted by rising sea levels.
Robert Abela believes that doing international politics is the same as doing village politics back home, and partly for this reason, no one really takes him seriously. Malta is not a voice for anyone at the UN Nations General Assembly and gaining trust, clout, and integrity on the international stage goes well beyond fraud and platitudes. In fact, Malta’s presence on the international stage is as less as it has ever been and we have fewer friends than we have ever had.
On Malta’s foreign affairs, it may be more noteworthy to watch the Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg who seems to be making some relevant moves in positioning Malta further to the West. This story is being overlooked by the press. Ian Borg was surely, the first Labour government official to ever visit the Secretary of State Department on an official visit (probably the first Maltese government official to do so). Last year, Ian Borg held a meeting with his American counterpart, Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. The press and the general public were never informed of the outcome of this meeting, but such high-level meetings are not done for the press and neither for theatre. This may be the beginning of a closer approach and collaboration with the West on geopolitical affairs and I am confident we will be hearing about the outcome of this meeting in the future.
Ian Borg also took a different position on Ukraine from his predecessor (Evarist Bartolo), by taking on a clear and pro-Ukrainian approach and demanding Russia to withdraw from Ukraine altogether (including Crimea).