19 FEBRUARY 2003

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Blair meets Fenech Adami

- There are no second class but only first class citizens in EU

London, Downing Street - "There are no second class citizens but only first class citizens," British Premier Tony Blair said when asked by The Malta Financial and Business Times whether he considered Malta’s size to be a negative aspect in an enlarged Europe. "There are many safeguards against this and Malta will have a voice as other larger countries do.
"In today’s world the interdependence on each and every nation beckons for Malta’s membership drive in the EU, this is a historical moment and it happens only once in the life of a nation," this Blair said when speaking yesterday at 10 Downing Street in London.
Looking tired and strained, Mr Blair met Dr Eddie Fenech Adami as they addressed the foreign and local press. Of their half hour meeting, Mr Blair said that the two sides had discussed bilateral relations.
Asked what he had to say about the MLP’s stance on acession, Tony Blair was non-committal but he said that he welcomed Malta’s entry into the EU and the British government stood by Malta.
"In the EU it is very well known that your negotiations were skilfully undertaken," he said.
On his part Maltese Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami thanked the British Premier for finding the time to meet him.
Throughout the short press conference no reference was made to Iraq but later on at the High Commissioner’s residence, the Prime Minister, together with Minister Joe Borg, briefed the press on Malta’s alignment with the EU position.
Asked about Iraq by The Malta Financial and Business Times he said, "We have taken the position that diplomacy must take its course and the military option, though not ruled out, will only be the last resort."
Waiting outside in the unbearable cold, a retinue of local and foreign journalists waited anxiously for the Maltese Premier to arrive behind a security barrier.
Before the Maltese premier arrived. at 10 Downing Street, a group of Church leaders, Cherie Blair carrying her shopping and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw were ushered in.
Dr Fenech Adami was joined by Foreign Minister Joe Borg, who had just returned from Brussels, High Commissioner George Bonello Dupuis and his personal assistant Richard Cachia Caruana.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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