On Tuesday 25 September 2018, the Head of the Representative Office of the Republic of Malta in Ramallah, Palestine, Mr Reuben Gauci, welcomed a large gathering at the Latin Patriarchate, Church of the Holy Family Garden, which is situated in Main Street, Ramallah to celebrate the 54th Anniversary of Malta’s attainment of Independence on 21 September 1964. The congregation included Palestinian distinguished guests and Diplomatic Representatives of various countries accredited to Palestine. During the Reception, paintings by Palestinian Artist from the city of Beit Sahour, Ms Sawsan Qomsieh, were exhibited to the distinguished guests.
During the reception, the visual message of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Hon Carmelo Abela, which message was recorded especially for the celebrations of Malta’s Independence Day abroad held by Maltese Diplomatic Missions, was shown to the audience present.
Following Minister Abela’s recorded speech, Representative Gauci delivered a speech in the Arabic language, with a translation to English read by the Mission’s Assistant, Mr Fareed Eluri, whereas he spoke about the main events which took place since the last Independence Day Celebration in Ramallah in September 2017.
Mr Gauci mentioned the visits of the Maltese Foreign Minister to Palestine in December 2017 and June 2018 which further cemented the already excellent bilateral relations between Malta and Palestine, this along with the visit by the Palestinian Foreign Minister to Malta, H.E. Dr Riad Malki, in August 2018.
The Representative also mentioned Malta’s presence in Palestine, with the Maltese Crib being set up by the Ministry of Justice, Culture and Local Government of the Republic of Malta in Manger Square Bethlehem in the Christmas period 2017, which crib was inaugurated by Minister Hon Dr Owen Bonnici on 16 December 2017, and the opening of an Honorary Consulate of Malta in Bethlehem on 17 September 2018, which Honorary Consulate is headed by Palestinian National, Mr Elias Alarja.
Following the Maltese Representative’s speech, the audience was addressed by H.E. Dr Ahmed Majdalani, senior member of the PLO ( Palestinian Liberation Organization ) Executive Committee, who represented the Office of the President of Palestine, H.E. Mahmoud Abbas. During the reception, the Office of the Prime Minister of Palestine, H.E. Dr Rami Hamdallah was represented by Adviser, Ms Khairieh Rassas, whilst the Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, H.E. Dr Adnan Husseini and the Palestinian Minister for Religious Affairs, H.E. Dr Ziad al Bandak were also present.