The meeting today in the Magistral Palace between the President of the Republic Malta, George Vella, and the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality. Many topics of mutual interest were discussed during the encounter, including the excellent diplomatic relations established in 1966 that have guaranteed, and still guarantee today, a seamless and fruitful cooperation in the social-health and cultural sphere.
The Order of Malta’s association carries out numerous activities on the Mediterranean island, offering assistance to terminal patients and distributing hot meals to the disadvantaged as well as providing first aid to migrants and refugees landing on the island or rescued off the Maltese coast. In this respect, during the meeting it was recalled that in 2016 the Order of Malta had given the Maltese government a mobile clinic with medical equipment and a minivan acting as a waiting room for assisted migrants. President Vella said he hoped the Order of Malta would further develop its humanitarian aid projects on Malta. The Grand Master reaffirmed the shared vision, based on values of peace and dialogue, that has linked the Order to Malta for centuries.
Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager, also present at the meeting, illustrated the Order of Malta’s major health and social initiatives in the Middle East and in sub Saharan Africa.
Today’s meeting was not the first one between Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre and George Vella. When he was Foreign Minister, President Vella had been received in the Magistral Palace in 2015.
The Order of Malta owes its name to its effective sovereignty over the Mediterranean island for more than two and a half centuries. In 1530, Malta was ceded to the Order by Emperor Charles V with the approval of Pope Clement VII. La Valletta, the capital, takes its name from Grand Master Fra’ Jean de la Vallette. Napoleon Buonaparte conquered the island for its strategic value and forced the knights to leave it in 1798.