The President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier was received today at the Magistral Villa in Rome, the Order of Malta’s seat of government. Accompanied by his wife Elke Büdenbender, the President was received with military honours by the Lieutenant of the Grand Master Fra’ Marco Luzzago.
During the visit, the first since diplomatic relations were established between the Order and Germany in 2017, the Order of Malta’s Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager and the German President had a conversation on many topical issues, starting with the growing number of refugees and displaced persons and the interconnected phenomenon of human trafficking; the pandemic crisis, threats to peace and stability and persecution of minorities in many areas of the world.
President Steinmeier mentioned in particular the serious crisis in Lebanon and the fear of a new phase of confrontation. The Grand Chancellor illustrated the important role played by the Order of Malta in the country where many medical and social assistance projects are carried out in cooperation with the various Shiite and Sunni communities.
The role of religious institutions in promoting dialogue and stability and the importance of inter-religious dialogue were also on the agenda. Among the topics was the “Religious Compact”, the document created by the Order of Malta’s initiative to promote shared values and respect for human rights. The German President and the Grand Chancellor hoped for greater synergy between European countries in the field of migration.
The Order of Malta in Germany is highly committed to the reception and integration of migrants. With 30 years of experience, it has developed a virtuous model for assisting more than 1.5 million migrants from 75 different countries. Today, the Order of Malta’s care organisation, Malteser Werke, runs more than 50 care centres throughout Germany, offering not only a safe place but also social and legal assistance and integration paths.
In Iraq, the German Federal Government supports the Order of Malta’s projects for the protection of minorities, while in Haiti it contributes to the post earthquake reconstruction work of the Order’s relief agency, Malteser International.