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MALTA, December 23. /TASS/. Russia and Malta are major trade and cultural partners, President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said in an exclusive interview with Mikhail Gusman, First Deputy Director General of TASS.
She said Russians and the Maltese had some kind of affinity and understood each other perfectly well. Russia and Malta, in her words, have always been partners in promoting peace and should remain partners in future.
The Maltese president said she was confident her country could be attractive for Russian investments and the sector of financial services could be one of the most promising areas of cooperation.
She spoke a few words about the long history of relations between her country and Russia. An Orthodox chapel was built at San Anton Palace (the current presidential residence, where the interview took place — TASS) when it was home to Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, the daughter of Emperor Alexander II from Russia’s Romanov Dynasty, after she had married Duke of Edinburgh. The chapel now serves as the venue for the annual celebration of the Orthodox Christmas. Traditionally, the Maltese president takes part in such celebrations. The Russian community in Malta currently numbers about 3,000 people.
Thanks to its strategic geographical location in the Mediterranean Sea, halfway from Europe to Africa and the Middle East, Malta has always played an important role in the settlement of conflicts, President of Malta said.
She said her country wanted to be a "global capital" in the Mediterranean region, a model of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect.
She reminded that twenty five years ago Malta had hosted a historic meeting between the Presidents of the United States and the former Soviet Union, George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. Regrettably, she noted, those spirit was gone. But, she said she was confident that only a dialogue was the best way to achieve peace.
Malta, which joined the European Union ten years ago, may serve as a kind of bridge between civilizations and share Africa’s experience with Europe, she added.
The full interview will be aired in the Formula of Power program on the Russia-24 television channel in January.