Greece and Malta call for stronger EU cooperation on migration

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Maltese counterpart Joseph Muscat called on Wednesday for stronger cooperation among European states on the migration crisis as well as other common challenges.

Muscat paid a visit to Greece to discuss a series of bilateral, regional and international issues as Malta holds the rotating presidency of the EU in the first half of 2017.

With both countries at the frontline of the refugee-migrant crisis, proposals to stem the influx to Europe were at the top of the agenda during their meeting, according to Greek national news agency AMNA.

In statements to the press after the meeting, the two leaders said they intended to press the issue during the March 25 Rome EU summit, which will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty that established the European Economic Community and the foundation of the present European Union.

“I believe that we can work together to convey the positive signals for our common future, positive signals to our citizens why Europe needs union, cohesion and solidarity,” Tsipras said while welcoming Muscat.

“We are trying to discuss many issues. I hope this is what we will do in Rome, and I am sure that we will lay the foundations for the future,” said the Greek prime minister.

Muscat said on his part that the European Commission “should give guidance on our future in Europe and our strategy for dealing with the Brexit as well as other very important issues such as migration”.

“We were divided over the migration issue, but we have launched an important debate on the issue,” he said, stressing that this is a priority for the Maltese presidency of the EU until July.