Libyan Secretary of Foreign Affairs visits PAM Headquarters – “5+5” Parliamentary Dimension to meet in Morocco in December

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs at the General People’s Congress of Libya, Mr. Suleiman Al Shahoumi, paid a courtesy call to the Headquarters of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean in Malta on 26 August while on a visit to the island state. The meeting was also attended by Ambassador Mohammad El Badri, Hon. Jesmond Mugliett, Head of the Maltese delegation to PAM, and Dr. Alex Sceberras Trigona, International Secretary of the Partit Laburista (Malta Labour Party).
Mr. Al Shahoumi thanked the PAM Secretary General, Dr. Sergio Piazzi, for his support in facilitating the organization of the meeting of the parliamentary dimension of the “5+5” Process1. The meeting is now scheduled to be held in Morocco on 1 December 2009.
During the visit, the Libyan Secretary of Foreign Affairs enquired about progress in relations between PAM and the EuroMediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, in view of the forthcoming new legislature of the European Parliament. Dr. Piazzi informed Mr. Al Shahoumi that it has always been a policy of PAM to support the complementarity of all those entities involved in parliamentary diplomacy in the Mediterranean. Dr. Piazzi recalled that while on a fact-finding mission to the Middle East last May, the President of PAM, Hon. Rudy Salles of France, had met with the President of the House of Representatives of Jordan and current EMPA President, H.E. Abdulhadi Majali. On this occasion, President Majali and President Salles signed a joint declaration of cooperation in support of the peace
1 In 1983 the French President Francois Mitterand called for the setting up of a Forum in the form of a security initiative bringing together the five members of the Arab Maghreb Union: Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia and their immediate neighbours to the North: France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. The Western Mediterranean Dialogue was set up in December 1990. It is meant to secure closer cooperation between countries west of the Mediterranean, through improved economic cooperation, limiting the disparity in population growth and encouraging more efficient management of resources to enhance regional interdependence. A number of select working groups were set up to deal with thematic issues such as the environment, multilateral financing institutions, infrastructure and technological development.
process in the Middle East and made it clear that, in their roles as Presidents of the two Assemblies, they will promote all initiatives aimed at ensuring collaboration and security in the region. Mr. Al Shahoumi furthermore expressed Libya’s intention to participate in the forthcoming “Ulysse 2009” Mediterranean voyage, organized jointly by the French Embassy in Malta, the House of Representatives of Malta and PAM, in the spirit of the “Fez Programme” under PAM’s 3rd Standing Committee on Dialogue among Civilisations and Human Rights. The trip will commence on 7 October in Valletta, and will visit Tunis, Tripoli, Limassol and Beirut. Dr. Piazzi expressed his gratitude for the continued support and participation of the General People’s Congress in PAM’s activities and was confident that Libya, as a founding member, will continue to be one of the main pillars of the vision upheld by the Parliamentary Assembly for the future of the Mediterranean. Cooperation between PAM and the UN system was also discussed, and ways to further improve this relationship were touched upon given the fact that Libya will assume the Presidency of the UN General Assembly on 1 September 2009. During his stay in Malta, Mr. Al Shahoumi also met with the island’s authorities and complimented them for hosting PAM in Malta, as well as for offering the historical building of Palazzo Spinola as a base for the Secretariat.

ISSUED ON: 27.08.2009

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