The Permanent Secretary participates in the second edition of the Prespa Forum Dialogue
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The Permanent Secretary participates in the second edition of the Prespa Forum Dialogue

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Jun 20, 2022

Between the 16 and 17 June 2022, Mr Christopher Cutajar, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade participated in the second edition of the Prespa Forum Dialogue that was held in Ohrid, North Macedonia.

Held under the auspices of the President of North Macedonia, H.E. Stevo Pendarovski, this year’s edition of the PFD was aptly titled: “Shaping Western Balkans Future in the contemporary European Security Architecture”.  With the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the evolving European security architecture, the PFD presented an opportunity for concrete exchanges between the participants.

The Permanent Secretary addressed one of the sessions of the forum, entitled “Building resilient European Security together” where he emphasized the importance of the security dimension in the Mediterranean.  While the war in Ukraine has given a new perspective to the aspirations of the Western Balkan countries, the Mediterranean dimension cannot be forgotten.  The Mediterranean has been for too long left in the periphery.

Malta shall continue to promote proactive policies and initiatives that are needed to protect security, stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean.  The promotion of dialogue between all countries in the Mediterranean is of utmost importance.  The Permanent Secretary also reiterated Malta’s unequivocal support to a merit-based approach prospect of full EU membership of the Western Balkans.

In the margins of the Forum, the Permanent Secretary also had the opportunity to hold a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council Ms Majlinda Bregu whereby the two exchanged views on possible avenues of cooperation between Malta and the Regional Cooperation Council.  Furthermore, Mr Cutajar also held a fruitful bilateral meeting with H.E. Ms Fatmire Isaki, Deputy Foreign Minister of North Macedonia during which they spoke on matters of mutual interest inter-alia, the enhancement of the bilateral relations between the two countries, North Macedonia’s EU aspirations and the war in Ukraine.