Official Visit of the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, for the opening of diplomatic relations between Germany and the Order of Malta
Talks focused on the humanitarian crises and assistance and integration projects for migrants and refugees
Rome, 15 November 2017 – Today, during the first official visit of Sigmar Gabriel, German Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the seat of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Rome, the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Sovereign Order of Malta was announced. The German Foreign Minister was received by the Order’s Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Boeselager, in the Magistral Villa.
The German federal government’s decision demonstrates its great appreciation of the Sovereign Order of Malta’s activities in 120 countries worldwide in the healthcare, social and humanitarian sectors, of its efforts in rescuing and integrating migrants and refugees, as well as the special role played by its diplomatic service in helping the most disadvantaged everywhere.
“The excellent relationship between Germany and the Order of Malta has a long history. After the Second World War, volunteers of the Order played a vital role in alleviating the suffering of our people. The Order of Malta is one of the most stable actors of German civil society with its hospitals, social services and rescue services. Even internationally, during my many visits abroad to some of the most dark places on the planet where the communities had lost hope, I met volunteers and staff from the Order of Malta,” said Minister Sigmar Gabriel during the press conference.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude for the great work of the Federal Republic of Germany in relieving human suffering, particularly in helping migrants and refugees. An ambitious commitment that fully reflects the principles and values that inspire the activity of the Order of Malta,” said the Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager.
The excellent relations already existing between the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Federal Republic of Germany, together with the numerous joint projects for tackling the crises and providing aid in particular to developing countries will be further strengthened by the establishment of diplomatic relations and by the consequent exchange of ambassadors. For both Germany and the Order of Malta, the respect of human dignity and the protection of communities in difficulty are the guiding principles for their common action.
Discussed during the talks between the two delegations was the important contribution of Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s Relief Agency, in offering assistance to refugees in some of the most difficult areas in the world, such as the regions around Syria, South Sudan and Myanmar. Also highlighted was the important migrant search and rescue activity in the Mediterranean Sea by the Order’s Italian Rescue Corps, with their medical teams on board the Italian Navy’s vessels and the Order of Malta’s decades of experience in Germany assisting and integrating migrants, with over 5,000 volunteers, out of the 50,000, located in the 100 shelters across the country.
Germany is the 107th State with which the Sovereign Order of Malta has diplomatic relations.