Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (Front L) and Malta President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (Front R) inspect the honor guard during a welcoming ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal, May 15, 2018, the day when Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca started a two-day state visit to Portugal.(Xinhua/Zhang Liyun)
LISBON, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Maltese President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca began a two-day state visit to Portugal on Tuesday, during which he called for a people-focused approach to tackling the refugee crisis.
"We must continue to promote the best interests of individuals and migrant families with an approach that is based on human rights and orientated towards people," said Coleiro Preca.
Appearing before the press with her Portuguese counterpart Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in Lisbon, she said: "we both understand this is a global question and it therefore demands a global response."
Meanwhile, Rebelo de Sousa said: "Malta and Portugal have always been committed to the opening up of the world and the discovery of the new and the different."
In keeping with this spirit, he proposed dealing with the refugee crisis through "projects of investment and development in neighboring countries. In other words, looking to Africa with greater attention and more priority."
Coleiro Preca is also scheduled to meet the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Tuesday, as well as members of the Portuguese-Maltese business community.
This is the first time a president of Malta has visited Portugal.