Saturday, 01 October 2011 23:27
Libya will resolve oil disputes with Malta, stem the flow of illegal migration and sign international human rights agreements, according to a National Transitional Council official.
Mohamed Sayeh, NTC member responsible for transport, spoke during the second Times To Debate series chaired by The Sunday Times deputy editor Herman Grech and held at the Intercontinental Hotel, in St Julians focusing on Malta’s role in rebuilding Libya.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi also addressed the debate, encouraging businesses to work together to seek opportunities and areas of cooperation within Libya. He explained Malta’s humanitarian role and said the island was doing all it could, “but not more”, adding that Mater Dei Hospital’s intensive therapy unit was “full”.
Dr Gonzi said the government was in discussions with Red Cross Malta to set up a “field” hospital, possibly at St Luke’s or St Philip’s.
Another member of the NTC flew in for the debate – Abdalla Gzaima, who is responsible for universities – while Libyan ambassador Saadun Suayeh was part of the panel.
During the debate, several people spoke about the need to improve access to Libya by having the no-fly zone lifted, increasing flights to Libya and speeding up visa processing.
Mr Suayeh said visas for Maltese to fly to Libya were currently being issued at his discretion but a policy should be in place soon.
Dr Gonzi said Malta’s Tripoli Embassy began receiving visa applications last week and these would start being issued from next week.
Meanwhile, Dr Sayeh said the no-fly zone should be lifted soon, following appeals by the NTC.
Libya’s ambassador to Malta George Cassar spoke for the first time since the Libyan crisis erupted, saying his silence was “dignified” and stemmed from the fact that after he was recalled, the matter was handled by Dr Gonzi.