H E Charles Sultana

Armed with honors degree in International Relations, a Master of Arts degree in Diplomatic Studies the friendly and charming ambassador of Malta to Kuwait, H E Charles Sultana, joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999.

In addition he also studied Asian politics and business at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan and is a qualified Prince 2 practitioner.

It is with this rich and variegated experience that Ambassador Sultana joined the diplomatic world here as the first Resident Ambassador of Malta to Kuwait and to further strengthen the strong ties between Kuwait and Malta.

Previous to this position, for three years Ambassador Sultana worked as the Deputy Head of Mission at Malta’s Embassy in Beijing covering Japan, ROK, DPRK and Pakistan and a four year posting in Canberra, Australia as Deputy High Commissioner.

When he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (prior to Malta’s accession to the European Union) he was involved in the accession and negotiation process on External Relations of the European Union and Free Movement of Goods.

During this period Ambassador Sultana was also a member of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Malta lecturing within the International Relations Department. Between 2003 and 2006, he served as Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union and was responsible for issues related to Labour

Law, Pensions and Social Security Legislation, Equality and Public Health.

Ambassador Sultana also served as Part-time Lecturer (Permanent) at the University of Malta, Department of International Relations. He also supervised undergrad dissertations, which required contextual and editorial changes to drafts.

From December 1999 till January 2003 he was Senior Policy Officer at the European Union Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malta and was responsible for project managing the accession and negotiation process on Free Movement of Goods, manufacturing standards and Public Procurement legislation.

On his posting to Kuwait Ambassador Sultana emphasised, “I am reminded of our support and friendship at every level and instance during my meetings with Kuwait government officials,” adding that the support, cooperation and encouragement he has received in Kuwait to set up the mission has been excellent.

It may be mentioned that Malta played a key role during the tragic occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 when it was among the first nations to make known its stand in clear terms on the illegal occupation.

Recounting the lead role played by the Maltese Government during the occupation of Kuwait, Malta denounced the occupation of Kuwait and called for the immediate withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait, as well as recognised the legitimate Government of Kuwait, in Taif, Saudi Arabia.

“In compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions calling for economic sanctions against Iraq and Kuwait, the Maltese Government banned the issue of licences for all exports to and imports from Iraq and Kuwait, and revoked licenses issued prior to the sanctions.  The Maltese Government also took measures to assist the legitimate Government of Kuwait by protecting the assets of the Kuwaiti Government in exile and its agencies”

“There are more than 130 Kuwaiti students studying Medicine in Malta and reasonable tourist traffic from Kuwait,” he pointed out. Recently the Burgan Bank has also bought a stake in one of the banks in Malta, further encouraging and boosting economic interests between the two nations.

The two countries have signed an air services agreement last month to establish regular flights between the two countries and increasing passenger movement and attracting investment

The deep friendship and gratitude is well known between the two nations; following the liberation of Kuwait H H Sheikh Nasser M. Al Sabah, the then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, visited Malta and had talks with the  Hon. E. Fenech Adami, Prime Minister,  and the Hon. Prof. Guido de Marco,  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and expressed the gratitude and appreciation of the Amir, the Government and People of Kuwait for Malta’s stand.

“Malta was one of the first countries to condemn the Iraqi invasion.  He remarked and Kuwait always acknowledged Malta’s support towards the Kuwaiti people.”

In July 1991, the Amir of Kuwait declared that cooperation between Malta and Kuwait should be increased and welcomed the possible participation of Maltese companies and workers in the reconstruction of Kuwait.  This declaration was made after receiving the Hon. Prof. Guido de Marco, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, who visited Kuwait as President of the UN General Assembly.

Following the demise of H E Professor Guido De Marco President Emeritus, in 2010, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al Sabah, along with a substantial delegation, visited Malta to participate in the funerary services.

The Kuwaiti Government officially informed the Government of Malta that it intended to re-open the Embassy and did so on May 5, 2011, Ambassador Faisal Suleiman Ali Al-Musailem presented his credentials to the President of Malta as Resident Ambassador of Kuwait and an Embassy was established in St Julian’s.

Malta, as a small nation provides lots of intermediary services to nations in the region. They have a smart city that is very essential for business and is also a resilient nation that provides stability, peace and friendship in the entire region. Malta is also a member of the European Union.

The opening of the Malta embassy in Kuwait in January 2013 has strengthened and consolidated a deep rooted friendship that had been established 40 years ago. As the first resident Ambassador of Malta to Kuwait, Ambassador Sultana has played a key role in the development of business opportunities and plans between the two nations

With his keen eyes and wide experience, Ambassador Sultana’s immense contribution in giving shape to Malta’s relations with Kuwait will be recognised in years to come.

Ambassador Sultana will be leaving Kuwait shortly and returning back to head office to take up his new assignment. “Kuwait will always be dear to me as my son was born here, and I have made many friends in my short tenure,” he quips and the good memories will remain forever.

– By Reaven D’Souza, Managing Editor

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