Joseph Muscat was due to meet with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over lunch tomorrow afternoon in Rome, but the Italian leader has since cancelled, The Malta Independent has reported.
Muscat is set to travel to Italy tomorrow to participate in a panel discussion on the management of migration for the Mediterranean Dialogues 2019 event and to meet with Pope Francis.
It is unclear as to whether Conte cancelled the event due to the latest political developments in Malta or for other reasons.
PN MEP David Casa responded to the news, tweeting “Malta’s international-level humiliation continues”.
— David Casa (@DavidCasaMEP) December 5, 2019
Meanwhile, 23 Maltese academics, including former rector Juanito Camilleri, have written to the Vatican to urge the pontiff to call off the meeting.
“To our dismay we have just learned that the Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat, is scheduled to meet the Holy Father on the 7th December, and this at a time when, following the revelation of criminal activity at the highest levels of power in our land, the calls for his resignation are flowing in from many diverse quarters, not least from European Union institutions and the Council of Europe,” the academics wrote.
“We are academics dedicated to excellence in teaching and research in our diverse fields and we have at heart the democratic process in our country and the rule of law to ensure justice for all.”
“In our view it is totally unwise, and pastorally undesirable, to involve the Holy Father in a propaganda exercise in an attempt to postpone an inevitable outcome, given the serious and grave nature of the accusations and allegations which are plaguing the present Administration of our country in full view of local and world media.”