Foreign Relations Of Malta
For several years after independence in 1964, Malta followed a policy of close co-operation with the United Kingdom and other NATO countries. This relationship changed with the election of the Malta Labour Party government in June 1971, led by Dom Mintoff. The NATO subheadquarters in Malta was closed at the request of the government, and the U.S. Sixth Fleet discontinued recreational visits to the country.
After substantially increased financial contributions from several NATO countries (including the United States), British forces remained in Malta until 1979. Following their departure, the Labour government charted a new course of neutrality and became an active member of the Non-Aligned Movement. Malta is an active participant in the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Council of Europe, OSCE, and various other international organisations. In these forums, Malta has frequently expressed its concern for the peace and economic development of the Mediterranean region.
The Nationalist Party (Partit Nazzjonalista) government elected in May 1987 continued a policy of neutrality and non-alignment, but in a Western context. The government desires close relations with the United States and Europe, with an emphasis on increased trade and private direct investment, and withdrew from the Non-Aligned Movement. In 1992, U.S. Navy ships started paying liberty calls again and currently do so on a regular basis.
On May 1, 2004, Malta became a full member of the European Union, with which it had an associationship agreement since 1971. It was one of ten new members which joined on that date. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs oversees the direction of Maltese foreign policy.
Famous quotes containing the words foreign and/or relations:
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