The first visit took place in 2008 when what then was described as “former Republican presidential hopeful John McCain (together with US Senator Joe Lieberman)” visited Malta on their way back to the United States following a visit to Afghanistan.
A report on The Malta Independent said “accompanied by US Ambassador to Malta Molly Bordonaro, the Senators met Dr Gonzi and other senior government officials at Auberge de Castille, Dr Gonzi and Senator McCain discussed bilateral relations between Malta and the US, the situation in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and the US relations with the European Union. Dr Gonzi also spoke about his meetings with outgoing US President George W. Bush and the government’s plans to restore heritage sites such as Fort St Angelo after Senator McCain mentioned his visit to the fort earlier on.”
The other visit took place when Senator McCain stopped in Malta on his way to Libya on September 28th 2011.
Then, Mr McCain told The Times that in a meeting with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi the two sides discussed ways in which the two countries could “work cooperatively” to help Libya.
A report on The Times of Malta in 2011 reveals that then Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi revealed this evening that it was he who suggested to US Senator John McCain that the US could deploy a hospital ship to Malta to help injured Libyan fighters.
The report added that McCain said that given that they don’t have the medical expertise and talent to take care of these people. There are amputees there. McCain said providing aid to the injured in the conflict was the least the US government should do, with Libya in the final throes of a months-long battle to end more than four decades of Gaddafi’s dictatorial rule.
He suggested some of the wounded could be sent to a US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany and that an American hospital ship should be sent to Tripoli, or if not Malta. “We can help them. They don’t have the medical capability to care for all of these wounded. More are still coming in,” McCain told CBS.
Dr Gonzi was reported saying that that when he suggested to Sen McCain that the US Navy could deploy a hospital ship to Malta, the senator liked the idea and asked if the proposal could be made in writing. The proposal was made as requested.
On January 16th, Mc Cain, referred to Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder in an op-ed he wrote on the Washington Post about the role of free media and in its defence from Trump’s constant attacks. In his article, back in January, McCain said “In Malta, a prominent journalist (Daphne Caruana Galizia) was brutally murdered in October after uncovering systemic government corruption.”
In the meantime here are some of the obituaries written about McCain.
The Guardian – Patriotic senator and Republican presidential candidate admired for his bravery as a prisoner in Hanoi, and for his readiness to speak truth to power.
BBC – John McCain was the Vietnam war hero who became one of America’s most high-profile politicians. His brand of common-sense conservatism often saw him clash with his Republican allies and he was a fierce critic of the presidency of Donald Trump.
Financial Times – John McCain was born to fight. He did so in the skies and fields of war, in Vietnam, and in politics, soaring to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2008. His death robs America of one of its most distinctive public servants of the last half century.
New York Times – He had principles, and he had flaws, from time to time betraying those principles — most grievously in the 2008 presidential campaign. But in a Senate mostly devoid of the kind of commanding figures who once roamed its halls, he was a rare bird. And he could surprise you.
POLITICO – But it was his trademark rebellious streak and tell-it-like-it-is bluntness that made McCain one of the most popular figures inside Congress and a favorite of reporters, who knew they could always count on him for a good quote or irreverent joke.
Al Jazeera – John McCain: Hero at home, hawk in Middle East
PolitcusUSA : John McCain was the last Republican who understood that good politics is about compromise, and without it, you’re left with tyranny. It takes two wings for a bird or an airplane to fly and ultimately it takes two wings for a policy to be sustained.
Long-time critic Donald Trump was one of the first to send condolences on Twitter.
The US President has in recent days been criticised for not mentioning his former colleague’s deteriorating health.
His wife of 38 years , Cindy also paid tribute, writing: “He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the the place he loved best.” My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the the place he loved best.
The Obama Family, wrote “Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the courage that he did,” wrote former President Obama. “Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”
Describing him as a “true patriot,” the US Naval air force posted a picture of Mr McCain during his time as a Navy pilot.