INTRODUCTION: The Soviet Union has agreed to guarantee the neutrality of malta in an agreement which was signed on the Mediterranean island on Thursday (8 October).
GV Maltese Prime Minister Mintoff enters and shakes hands with Soviet delegation. 0.16
CU Maltese coat of arms. 0.19
GV ZOOM IN Mintoff signing agreement. 0.24
CU Soviet Deputy Prime Minister N.V. Talyzin signing. 0.29
GV Officials watching PAN TO signing. 0.45
GV Mintoff and Talyzin shaking hands. (2 SHOTS) 0.56
Background: VALLETTA, MALTA
INTRODUCTION: The Soviet Union has agreed to guarantee the neutrality of malta in an agreement which was signed on the Mediterranean island on Thursday (8 October). Last year Italy also said it would guarantee Maltese neutrality, and Prime Minister Dom Mintoff has announced that the island would provide military bases neither to the Soviet Union nor to the United States.
SYNOPSIS: Prime Minister Mintoff signed the agreement at a ceremony in Valletta attended by the visiting Soviet delegation, which was led by Deputy Prime Minster N.V. Talyzin. Mr. Mintoff is hoping that a number of other countries will sign similar accords with Malta.
He has asked the United States, France, Tunisia and Algeria for similar pledges. In the past malta as an important naval base for Britain, and the island played a crucial role for the Allies fighting Hitler in World War II. Mr. Mintoff has argued that although Malta is no longer so important strategically, there is value in denying bases to a potential enemy.
After years of friendship with the Libyan Jamahiriyah, Malta is involved in a dispute over off-shore oil rights, and Mr. Mintoff is turning elsewhere for alliance.
Source: F. VASSALLO