SLOVAKIA and Malta plan to boost cooperation in tourism and hiking, said Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič after meeting his Maltese counterpart, George Abela, on January 23. Abela has confirmed that Slovaks are becoming more interested in his country, but added that this is not the case the other way around.

“Together we have to raise awareness and interest in our countries,” Abela said, as quoted by the SITA newswire, adding that cultural events could be an area to focus on.

Gašparovič also said that intensive cooperation between the two countries increased in the business sphere thanks to the collaboration of the chambers of commerce of both states. He also sees room for more cooperation in preparing both countries for their presidency over the Council of the European Union (Slovakia in 2016 and Malta in 2017), as reported by SITA.

The presidents also discussed the Maltese initiative to amend EU migration policy. According to Gašparovič, it will be necessary to restrict the free movement of dangerous people in order to strengthen security. Abela appreciated Slovakia’s promise to accept some refugees from Malta.

The Maltese president also highlighted the signing of the protocol over cooperation in cross-border adoptions, SITA wrote.

Later in the day, Abela visited the ‘Malta - Slovakia’ business forum in Bratislava, where he said that Malta and Slovakia can also establish joint enterprises, with both countries then making use of their strategic locations in southern and central Europe. Moreover, northern African markets are open not only to Malta but also to Slovakia, and this potential needs to be utilised, he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Source: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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