Bridging continents: Malta, Qatar paving the way for peace and prosperity

Bridging continents: Malta, Qatar paving the way for peace and prosperity

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: May 14, 2024
Doha, Qatar: As we gradually advance towards the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malta and the State of Qatar (1975-2025), one can safely say that we share an excellent and ever-growing relationship, marked by mutual respect and joint commitment to elevate it to new heights. Despite the geographical distance, our two nations have found common ground in various political, economic, and cultural endeavours. Our partnership has evolved over the years, fostering new opportunities and strong alliances with common ideals and goals.

Multilateral Action

Both countries, although limited in size, have demonstrated unwavering commitment to dialogue and engagement on regional and global issues on the international stage. Malta’s role in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reflects its commitment to international peace and security. Since the start of our tenure as a non-permanent member in the UNSC in January 2023, Malta has leveraged its position within the UNSC to advocate for diplomatic solutions to current global conflicts, the promotion of human rights, and champion the interests of small island states. Through active participation in discussions and resolutions, which intensified during the Maltese Presidency of the UNSC throughout April 2024, Malta is amplifying the voices of marginalized nations and contributing to shaping the agenda on crucial issues such as climate change, migration, and disarmament.

As a non-permanent member of the UNSC, Malta continues to demonstrate its dedication to multilateralism and the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter. To this end, Malta has supported the adoption of UN Resolutions 2712, 2720 and 2728 and continues to express its deep concern on the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza while advocating for an immediate ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and the unimpeded flow of humanitarian aid. Malta, and the European Union, continue to advocate for a two-state solution, with Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign, and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition.

While chairing one of the UN Security Council debates in April (2024), the Hon. Dr. Ian Borg, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta stated that “the only solution for peace and security is the cessation of hostilities. By escalating conflicts, more innocent lives are lost. Let’s work together for peaceful solutions”.

In this complex time, the State of Qatar has continued to position itself as a pivotal mediator in regional and international conflicts, leveraging its diplomatic prowess and strategic position in the Middle East and beyond. We commend Qatar’s role in resolving disputes through peaceful means and fostering dialogue as well as Qatar’s efforts to prevent the outbreak of conflicts. Qatar’s endeavours to build trust among conflicting parties continues to cement its position as a trusted partner and capable of working unstintingly towards this end. Also on the humanitarian front, Qatar has distinguished itself as a leader, providing vital supplies and medical assistance to several conflict zones, including of course Gaza.

Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani shakes hands with Malta's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Hon. Dr. Ian Borg, during the EU-GCC High Level Forum held in Luxembourg on April 22, 2024.

On another front, in January 2024, Malta was elected as Chair of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe. In his introductory speech the Maltese Foreign Minister set forth Malta’s vision to address the ongoing tensions in Europe adding that “it’s all about people - it is paramount to work on improving, intensifying, and bridging our relations to overcome distrust for the good of all, and to build back confidence.”

When it comes to the wider region, Malta continues to support engagement between the EU and the GCC. The latest High-level Forum between the two sides held in Luxembourg on 22 April 2024, focusing on Regional Cooperation and Security, chaired by His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and by His Excellency Mr. Joseph Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, clearly demonstrated the continued willingness of both sides to reinforce dialogue. As the High Representative indicated, “in times of turmoil and escalating tensions, peace and multilateralism are challenged in both our regions, and we need more than ever to work together to resolve the crises, to prevent escalation and support a safer, and more stable international environment”.

Bilateral Ties

On the bilateral front, Qatar and Malta offer unique opportunities for economic growth, investment, and cultural exchanges. Qatar, with its robust economy, presents avenues for lucrative ventures in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and tourism. As a hub for international trade, connectivity and innovation, Qatar also provides a favourable environment for businesses seeking expansion in the Gulf region. Similarly, Malta, nestled in the very heart of the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a thriving economy driven by sectors such as finance, tourism, and maritime services. Malta’s strategic location and European Union membership offer a gateway to the European market, attracting investors and entrepreneurs alike. Both nations also offer rich cultural experiences and a high quality of life, making us attractive destinations for individuals seeking new opportunities and experiences.

The opening of the Embassy of Malta in Qatar in 2021 and the State Visit by the President of the Republic of Malta, H.E. Dr. George Vella in June 2022 not only served to confirm the strong bonds of friendship between Malta and Qatar but also to facilitate new avenues of cooperation in the political, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, and technical spheres for the mutual benefit of both peoples. Coupling this with various high-level delegations to Doha and Valletta, namely the first-ever session of Political Consultations between the two countries which took place in Valletta in January 2024, and the visits of several Maltese Ministers (Finance, Health, and Education) to Doha in the first quarter of 2024, underline the willingness of both sides to work together in a backdrop of mutual trust.

Looking Forward

In conclusion, the dynamic relationship between Malta and Qatar exemplifies the potential for collaboration and mutual benefit. As we continue to navigate the complexities and challenges of the modern world, Malta and Qatar serve as shining examples of how cooperation and diplomacy can transcend boundaries and create a brighter future for all. Let us spare no effort to ensure that the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries continue to thrive, underpinned by a commitment to consolidate progress both on a bilateral and global dimension.