Remarks by President Donald Tusk at the informal summit in Malta

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Remarks by President Donald Tusk at the informal summit in Malta


Author: European Council.


The following press release was issued by the European Council on .

Before
anything else let me thank again and congratulate Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
for once again organising and hosting an important and productive summit in the
beautiful city of Valletta. It is a pleasure to be back here today after the
equally successful Valletta Summit in 2015 with our African partners.

Now
turning to the results of today’s meeting. We have agreed on immediate
operational measures that should help reduce the number of irregular migrants
and save lives at the same time. We will train, equip and support the Libyan
coastguard to stop people smugglers and increase search and rescue operations.
We will deliver economic assistance to local communities in Libya to improve
their situation, and help them shelter stranded migrants. And we will work with
the International Organisation for Migration to step up voluntary returns from
Libya to countries of origin. There will be additional European funds to
implement those priority actions. And we will, of course, act in full respect of
human rights, international law and European values, and in close cooperation
with organisations such as UNHCR and IOM.

We have also decided to support
Member States’ bilateral activities directly engaged with Libya. Therefore we
welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday by the Italian and
Libyan Prime Ministers as another important and encouraging sign that things are
about to change for the better. The European Union and our actions will support
Italy and Libya. It is our shared responsibility.

After this press
conference, we will meet to discuss the future of the EU as Joseph Muscat has
just mentioned with 27 States and our Rome meeting marking the sixtieth
anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

But in fact we have started the
discussion on the future of Europe already during our lunch. The developments on
the international scene remind us of how important a strong EU is. Transatlantic
co-operation remains an absolute priority because it has until now been a key
pillar of the free world. At the same time we know that today we have no other
option than to regain confidence in our own strength.

The following press release was issued by the European Council on .


Copyright European Council.