US-Malta relations – from strength to strength

 

 US-Malta relations – from strength to strength 
by Carla Gatt US Ambassador MOLLY BORDONARO speaks to Carla Gatt about the transfer of refugees from Malta to America, the new adventure park in Ta’ Qali and the life of the Bordonaro family in Malta.  Calm and self-assured, the American Ambassador, Molly Bordonaro spoke to The Malta Independent on Sunday about bilateral matters between Malta and the United States and how she and her family have found life in Malta so far. “Looking back over the past 12 months, I honestly feel that relations between Malta and the US have gone from strength to strength. “Malta is a very small densely populated island and housing large numbers of communitarian refugees is a real struggle for this tiny Mediterranean Republic. “I’m very glad that the US will be helping Malta as we’re about to send the first group of communitarian refugees in Malta to America. The US takes so many thousands of refugees from Third World countries such as Sudan.” Could you give me an estimate of the number of refugees the US will be taking in? Let’s just say hundreds! They will start leaving in groups so this is not just a one-time transfer. There are two procedures to be followed. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) first processes the group, followed by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which the United States contracts to do the second processing. The refugees are given a three-day orientation programme about America so that once they reach the US they have an idea what to expect. When they arrive in the US, the non-profit organisations that sponsor them find housing for them and help them become productive in American society. The American newspaper The Oregonian of 18 November quoted you as saying that Malta was 20 years behind in terms of gender equality. I was completely misquoted! What I said was that what the States achieved in the past 20 years, Malta has managed to achieve in much less. I believe the Maltese government has made it one of its top priorities to ensure women have as much equality as men. Like any advanced democracy, Malta has made many options available for all individuals. What about the new embassy to be built in Ta’ Qali? The modernization of US embassies worldwide started in 1998, and now, nine years later,
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