21 January 2018 14th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the “5+5 Dialogue on the Western Mediterranean”

The meeting took place in Algiers on 21 January and was co-chaired by Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian and attended by Ministers from Spain, Italy, Malta and Portugal on the northern shore, as well as Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia on the southern shore. The meeting was also attended by the European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, the Secretary-General of the Union for the Mediterranean Fathallah Sijilmassi, the Secretary-General of the Arab Maghreb Union Taieb Baccouche, and the President of the Anna Lindh Foundation Elisabeth Guigou.

The discussions focused on inclusive, shared, and sustainable economic development, youth employment, and migration. In particular, the Ministers reaffirmed their stance in favour of a political solution to the crisis in Libya and discussed the latest developments in Syria, the Sahel, Iraq, and the Middle East Peace Process, focusing on the importance of strengthening cooperation in the area of security in the face of the regional crises. Moreover, the ministers worked on the concrete responses to issues relating to the economic, social and sustainable development. Migration and youth in the 5 + 5 Dialogue countries were also important issues on the agenda.

Malta was selected to succeed France in assuming for the next two years the northern co-presidency of the 5+5 Dialogue. As such, Malta will host the 15th Ministerial Conference in 2018 or 2019, date still to be confirmed.