“I believe that the EU should have had the strength to censure those member states, which were highly involved in the worsening of the situation in Libya, for example, through the provision of firearms to the Haftar.”
This was the strong statement by Malta’s President, H.E. George Vella during yesterday’s edition of Bay Chats with Drew and Noel. The President said we have reached a situation where the people of Tripoli are not only scared of the COVID-19 outbreak, but they are also scared of imminent air attacks.
His Excellency said that when hecused to write or tweet about Libya, “I used to get told that I have some sort of fixation about Libya, or that it would be better if he focused on other things,” adding that “today these people perhaps can understand, why I was, and still am worried about the situation in Libya.”
Many a time, The President had said, “that we would be the ones who suffer, in the end, if we do not take care of Libya – and this is what we have come to. Nowadays, we are at the receiving end.”
“You do not throw money at a problem. This isn’t a problem of money.”
Whilst declaring that he has all the respect for Minister Bartolo, and saying that they “have spoken about this a number of times”, President George Vella said that while it is good that the EU approved humanitarian aid for Libya, “I believe that you do not throw money at a problem.”
“This isn’t a problem of money – this is a problem of personal interests. It is important that whoever is there does not place their personal interest first, but places the interests of the people of Libya at the top of the list of priorities,” His Excellency said.
The President stated that this is where the problem lies, as the people of Libya are always coming last.
“Power, the Supply of Firearms, and Conflict are taking the lead – almost seeing a war developing “by proxy” on an international level,” he said.
An Honest and Sincere Agreement by all Member States is what is needed.
President Vella said that what truly is needed is strong political action “which needs to be agreed upon by all the member states of the EU, in full sincerity, with each member state seeing that they themselves are not contributing to make the problem worse.”
Otherwise, His Excellency said, the power struggle will continue, resulting eventually in one winning side – a winning side which will win the power to rule, “but which will inherit, a destroyed population, a shattered country, a lack of cooperation and integration in a country which is full of resources, and which can truly become a Switzerland in the Mediterranean.”
“I don’t have faith that things will get better any time soon, and I am not saying that this is the fault of the European Union, but the EU could have done much more, as there are countries which are in the security council like the UK, Germany and France, and which work on their own, coming together for a while, meeting at a summit, and going separate ways straight afterwards,” The President concluded, whilst appealing for stronger Firearms Transportation Controls at sea, and more importantly, on land, which is where most of the firearms transportation and supply happens.
This article is the second in a series of articles relating to the 2nd Edition of Bay Chats with H.E. Dr George Vella, President of Malta