‘You must love and respect your country to be able to defend it and protect the interests of its people’ - Minister Evarist Bartolo at the opening of the Ambassadors’ Meeting

Reference Number: PR210189, Press Release Issue Date: Jan 28, 2021
 
Today marks the start of the annual meeting of the Ambassadors of the Republic of, which this year is being held virtually due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ambassadors’ Meeting brings together resident, non-resident, and thematic ambassadors for discussions on various topics relevant to the achievement of Malta’s foreign policy objectives as well as administrative issues that are important for the successful functioning of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs.

This year’s theme is ‘What does your greatness expect from being the smallest among the small?’

This question emanates from ‘Għanja ta’ Malta’, written by Prof. Oliver Friggieri in 1989 on the 25th anniversary of Independence Day, and is intended to trigger thoughts on how Malta, despite its limitations, can increasingly strive to maintain a good international reputation and improve its socio-economic situation.

In this context, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo opened the meeting with an address on the mission of Malta’s diplomatic corps. He said that whether the country moves forward or backwards largely depends on the sense of duty, love, and respect for our country.

“Our country is not perfect, but we must humbly love the country as it is and understand the interests of our people and how we can best protect their common good. Because if we do not respect our country, we cannot defend our country”.

Minister Bartolo stressed that were it not for previous generations who dreamed of having a self-governing sovereign state, Malta would simply be another island in the Mediterranean and not a sovereign, independent, free, neutral, and full member state of the European Union.

“It is in such context that we must recognize our mission - that which gives us hope that despite the size of our country, we can take care of ourselves as they did before us”. At the same time, we must seek to develop strong relations with as many countries as possible, he added.

It is therefore important that without being pretentious, we have an ambition for our country, the Minister appealed. One that is based on the fundamental values ​​of Malta that as a neutral state will always remain in favour of peace, in favour of disarmament, in favour of respect and tolerance towards diverse views and religions, and in favour of resolving disputes through dialogue and not conflict.

Prior to the meeting, Minister Evarist Bartolo inaugurated restoration and renovation works carried out in the basement of Palazzo Parisio, which will serve as a new and different space for Ministry officials. The hall was named after Mr Alfred Zarb, a diplomat with a career spanning over 50 years, who inspired many to follow in his footsteps.

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