News Centre – TDO- Maltese Ambassador to Turkey Carmel Vassallo has hosted a reception at the Ankara Sheraton Hotel to mark the 54th anniversary of Malta’s independence.

The reception was attended by Vice President Fuat Oktay, Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakcı, as well as many representatives of diplomatic missions and other guests.

Kaymakcı read out the message by Vice President Fuat Oktay’s, who could not make it to the opening ceremony due to the ongoing National Security Council (NSC) meeting.

In his message, Oktay said that Turkey and Malta are two countries that represent and continue the Mediterranean identity and said that the Mediterranean identity is one that includes, tolerance, respect for other cultures, open-mindedness, compromise and a constructive attitude.

Oktay pointed out that in addition to their priorities and interests, Turkey and Malta were in harmony in their vision on regional and international affairs and said “As two Mediterranean countries, we are directly affected by the challenges faced by the region and the international system in general. Our countries are located on the route of migration. We know that Malta is hosting many migrants, especially from Africa. In Turkey, we host around four million migrants and know very well how much effort such a situation requires. From this perspective, we aim to develop cooperation in every field at the bilateral level and on multilateral platforms.”

Oktay reminded the audience that although relations between Turkey and Malta go very far back in time, diplomatic relations were only officially established in 1967 and said that they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of ties.

Oktay said that they were very pleased that the Maltese Embassy in Ankara had started activities on this symbolic anniversary and added that the friendship and cooperation between the two countries was advancing on problem-free and sound ground.

Oktay said that bilateral ties had made significant progress with mutual official visits in recent years and that they would be honoured to host the Maltese President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca in Turkey in the coming period.

In his speech, Ambassador Vassallo thanked guests for attending. The message of Maltese Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Minister Carmelo Abela’s message to mark Independence Day was read out.

Oktay arrived at the reception after the NSC meeting, congratulated Ambassador Vassallo on the occasion of his country’s independence day and chatted with Maltese citizens.

The reception ended after guests were served refreshments.

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