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Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela and his Tunisian counterpart Khemaies Jhinaoui agreed to enhance cooperation on trade and economy, as well as a list of other issues, during their meeting at the 11th session of the Malta-Tunisia Joint Commission held in Malta on Monday, according to a press statement the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion issued on Thursday.

Beyond trade and economy, the two ministers agreed on enhanced cooperation in related to culture, tourism, town twinning, transport, vocational training and employment, higher education, research and innovation, health, agriculture and fisheries, as well as issues related to social welfare, such as countering gender-based violence, responding to early childhood development, and cooperation in the field of the elderly, according to the press statement.

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The two ministers expressed optimism that the excellent relationship between both neighbouring countries will be further consolidated through commercial and people-to-people contacts, during their talks held in Valletta on Tuesday, according to the press statement by the ministry.

“Our recent and upcoming high-level visits bear further testimony to the importance that Malta gives to closer collaboration with Tunisia”, Minister Abela was reported as saying. “We are proud to have hosted the Malta-Tunisia Joint Commission, which has served to further enhance our mutual relations in a number of different areas. We look forward to further enhancing and consolidating bilateral relations in various sectors,” the minister added according to the press statement.

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The ministers also discussed issues of regional concern, with a particular emphasis on attaining peace and stability in the Mediterranean, as well as the situation in Lybia, irregular migration on the Mediterranean and Tunisia-EU relations.

“The two ministers also signed the Agreed Minutes of the 11th session of the Joint Commission, an Agreement on Temporary Employment, a Memorandum of Understanding on Responding to the Development of Early Childhood, a Protocol of Cooperation in the Area of Seniors, and a Programme of Cultural Cooperation for the years 2019-2021,” the foreign ministry reported.

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