By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 14 November 2017:
Maltese foreign minister Carmelo Abela was in Tripoli today for talks with Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj on relations between the two states. The involvement of Maltese figures in the smuggling of oil from Libya is reportedly to have been one of the main issues of discussion.
According to the PC’s media office, it was agreed to expand the exchange of information about smuggling operations.
Two Maltese men, Darren Debono and Gordon Debono, have been arrested by the Italian authorities and are currently being held in Sicily accused of involvement in a mafia smuggling ring illegally shipping Libya oil to Italy and elsewhere. It is reported they helped provide fake Maltese documentation,
The Maltese foreign ministry has just completed an internal inquiry into the affair.
The PC statement also said that Serraj stressed the importance to Libya of its relations with Malta while Abela, who became Malta’s foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle in June, expressed Malta’s full support for the PC and its government of national accord and for Serraj’s efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis.
Abela is also quoted asying that a new Maltese ambassador would be appointed soon to replace Mannie Galea who has now returned to his architectural practice.