Veteran Nationalist MP Francis Zammit Dimech returned to the Cabinet yesterday after an absence of almost five years when he was sworn in as Foreign Minister, his most senior government position yet.

I will represent a continuation of the sterling work that has already been done

He succeeds Tonio Borg, who resigned following his appointment as European Commissioner.

Speaking to The Times after the swearing-in, Dr Zammit Dimech, a lawyer by profession, said: “Tonio Borg had laid out clear plans within his ministry so it will be my great pleasure to carry out these plans. Pending issues and those which need further work have been defined and I will represent a continuation of the sterling work that has already been done.”

After the 2008 general election, Dr Zammit Dimech was not reappointed to Cabinet along with a number of colleagues who served in Lawrence Gonzi’s first legislature. However, he was appointed chairman of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee two years ago. Yesterday, Dr Zammit Dimech thanked the Prime Minister for the trust he had shown in him.

Asked how it felt being appointed minister on the day of a Budget which may not go through, Dr Zammit Dimech said he would be minister until the end of the legislature.

Dr Borg, who is taking up his position in Brussels this week, resigned from Cabinet yesterday morning after addressing Parliament on Tuesday. Dr Gonzi thanked him for his service to the country and wished him well in his new post.

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