Malta to resume issuing Schengen visas to Libyans

Despite EU flight ban on Libya, Malta will facilitate creating an airline route directly to European capitals

Maltese Minister affirms positive relations between Malta and Libya. [Photo: PC]
bMalta will begin issuing Schengen visas once again to Libyan citizens from their embassy in Tripoli.

The announcement came following an official visit by Clyde Caruana, Maltese Minister of Finance and Labour to Tripoli, in which he met with Presidency Council Deputy Ahmed Meeting.

According to official reports, the meeting primarily focused on the relations between the countries and strengthening cooperation in the field of investment and development.

The Maltese Minister stated that these visits reflect good relations between the two friendly countries and expressed his government’s interest in reinvesting in Libya as well as training Libyan public sector employees in Malta.

Maltese officials agreed to start granting Europeans visas to Libyan citizens at the end of January 2021 as well as the possibility of opening an air route between Valletta and Tripoli, Benghazi, Misurata, as well as flights from Libya directly to several European capitals.

While direct flights from Libya into the European Union airspace would be considered a violation of the EU flight ban on Libya, however, Libyan airlines can bypass the ban by registering their aircraft in Malta, as they previously have in Ireland successfully, making them technically Maltese aircraft and able to enter European airspace.

Earlier this year, Malta and Libya signed an MoU that specifically addresses resumption of flights between the two countries and the agreement of the European nation to register Libyan planes in Malta to allow them entry.

Health officials revealed that just like in Tunisia, flights to and from Malta will adopt a health protocol to protect travellers from covid-19 and facilitate a safe resumption of air travel for citizens of both countries.

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