We’ve been here before. We get information about meetings held by the Maltese government from sources in the country our government is having meetings in. Usually that’s when the government does not even want us to know what the meeting is about.
Evarist Bartolo appears to have had meetings with the Libyan equivalent of a deputy prime minister. There are unconfirmed reports Evarist Bartolo actually went to Libya for these meetings. But that seems unlikely unless he hitched a ride on the Mae Yemenja and helped carry the corpses of the dead boys and men who died of thirst while Malta considered for 5 days not to rescue them.
Libyan English-language on line daily Libya Review reports that: “on Monday, Libya’s Vice-chairman of the Presidential Council, Ahmed Maiteeq, held a conversation with the Foreign Minister of Malta, Evarist Bartolo. The officials discussed enhanced cooperation between the two countries, in addition to the recent developments in Libya. Bartolo expressed his country’s keenness to contribute to the security and stability of Libya, renewing his support for the Government of Nation Accord.”
That’s official-speak for ‘we’re not going to tell you what they really spoke about’. The Maltese side has made no statement whatsoever about the meeting.
Evarist Bartolo is accountable to parliament and to the public. So here are some questions for him:
- Did he discuss with Libya the coordination of push-backs of migrants rescued in Malta’s search and rescue area?
- Did he discuss any form of compensation to Libya or to anyone for the pushback policy?
- Did he seek assurances on the treatment and living conditions of migrants that have been pushed back?