Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Malta)

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Republic of Malta
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministeru tal-Affarijiet Barranin
Coat of arms of Malta.svg
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malta.jpg
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malta
Agency overview
Jurisdiction Malta and its diplomatic missions worldwide
Headquarters Palazzo Parisio, Merchant Street, Valletta, VLT 1171
Agency executives Dr George W. Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Joseph Cole, Permanent Secretary

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Maltese: Ministeru tal-Affarijiet Barranin) is responsible for maintaining Malta's external relations and the management of its international diplomatic missions. The ministry's director is Dr George W. Vella.[1][2]


Malta attained full independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and has maintained independent, official diplomatic relations with other nations since then.[2] The ministry moved to its current location, within the Palazzo Parisio, in 1973, although the building itself was built in the 1700s and was once occupied by Napoleon Bonaparte during his Egyptian Campaign. The Palazzo Parisio has housed certain government operations starting in 1886 with Malta's General Post Office and, after World War I, the nation's Audit Office.[3]

George W. Vella has directed the ministry since March 2013, after his party won parliamentary elections comfortably the 2013 elections held on the 09th of March by over 35,000 votes on the Nationalist Party. Joseph Cole is the ministry's Permanent Secretary, charged with many of its day-to-day activities.[4]


The ministry oversees Malta's affairs with foreign entities, including bilateral relations with individual nations and its representation in international organizations, including the European Union, the United Nations and the Council of Europe. The ministry also holds responsibility for matters related to foreign trade, expatriates and citizenship and travel visas.[4] Several of its foreign missions, including those to large nations like Brazil and Japan, are accredited to it through embassies in Rome, Italy. There are no Maltese diplomatic missions physically located in South America.[5]

Libyan civil war[edit]

In 2011 and 2012, the ministry was involved in international efforts to address the Libyan civil war, in part because of Malta's geographic proximity to Libya and the history of refugees and illegal immigrants leaving Libya for Malta.[6][7] Refugee camps and the handling of matters of immigration and visitor status are the responsibility of the ministry. Foreign Minister Borg has called for Libya's Transitional National Council to accede to the Geneva Convention, something the African nation had not previously done under Muammar Gaddafi's regime.[8]

Order of Precedence[edit]

In Malta's Order of Precedence of foreign ambassadors and other heads of mission, the Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio is listed first, regardless of the incumbent Nuncio's time in office. The Nuncio is then followed by a traditional precedence based on the foreign representatives' length of appointment.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Minister". Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Malta. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Background Note: Malta". The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Palazzo Parisio – a historic overview". Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Malta. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Organisational Chart". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malta. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "FOREIGN DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS ACCREDITED TO MALTA". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malta. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Pignal, Stanley (24 February 2011). "Libya refugees flee to Malta". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "29 illegal immigrants rescued off Libya". Times of Malta. 14 September 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Malta wants Libya to sign refugee rights convention". Times of Malta. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Order of Precedence". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malta. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 

External links[edit]