A Libyan delegation is meeting senior Armed Forces of Malta officers on Tuesday and Wednesday for further ongoing talks on Search-and-Rescue (SAR) co-operation between the two countries.
The Libyan delegation is headed by Engineer Mohammed Ahmed Rashid, General Manager of Tripoli Port, and he is accompanied by other engineers from the Libyan maritime authorities and military officers of the Libyan coast guard.
The aim of these talks is to bring about an agreement on SAR co-operation in a number of operational and training fields. Much headway has been made these last eleven months, especially since when the Libyan authorities warmly hosted in August 2007 a Maltese delegation in Tripoli made up of AFM, Malta Maritime Authority and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.
Brigadier Vassallo said that he augurs that Libya would take up the offer to train their personnel in Malta on various aspects of SAR mission-planning and co-ordination, considering the excellent spirit of goodwill, friendship and co-operation between Malta and Libya.
Also present for these talks is the Libyan ambassador to Malta, H.E. El Shalmani, who thanked the AFM senior officers for their hospitality and commented on the broader prospects of the mutual interests shared between the two countries as not being limited to just SAR, but would also include marine pollution and border management issues. He also remarked favourably on the fact that Libya stands to benefit greatly from Malta's vast experience in the conduct and co-ordination of SAR-missions in the Mediterranean Sea.
During these talks with the AFM, the Libyan delegation is also expected to visit the REMPEC centre at Manuel Island and the Malta Freeport in B'Bugia. Colonel Emanuel Mallia, HQ AFM's staff officer operations, is heading the talks from the Maltese side.