The flagship of the Royal Navy, HMS Bulwark, and the frigate HMS Somerset will be part of the security being provided for this week’s EU summit being held on the island of Malta. RAF Typhoon fighters will be operating from bases in Sicily as well to provide air defence duties should they be required. Despite the heavy British military presence both the British and Maltese governments have stressed that the Maltese government have final authority on all security arrangements and decisions.
This summit will take place on the 11th and 12th of November at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta’s capital city. The conference will be held to address the current demands of the continually unfolding migrant crisis on the European member states. The EU press release also states that the conference will be used to look in to addressing the root causes of the crisis.
The Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, explained to the media that while he expected no imminent terrorist or external threat to Malta during the summit he felt it prudent to ask the UK to assist in security areas that cannot be covered by the Maltese defence forces. HMS Bulwark will be docked in Malta while HMS Somerset will patrol the seas around the island. It is perhaps fitting that Bulwark should be aiding in providing security for the summit having been heavily involved in the rescue of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean earlier this year.