Colonel Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, arrived in Malta on Thursday (19 December) for an official three-day visit and promptly hailed the islands's new status as a republic as "a golden step" in its history.
LV President Gaddafi down plane steps and being greeted by officials
SV Flags (Libyan and Maltese)
SV Gaddafi meets diplomats
GV Guard of honour
SV Gaddafi walks across tarmac
GV Malta's drydocks with crowds
TV Crowds lining route
TV Gaddafi surrounded by crowd
SV Crowd holding banners "Viva Mintoff, Gaddafi"
SV Gaddafi on balcony waving to crowds
TV Crowds cheering
SCU INTERIOR Gaddafi with Mintoff and other leaders and shaking hands
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Background: Colonel Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, arrived in Malta on Thursday (19 December) for an official three-day visit and promptly hailed the islands's new status as a republic as "a golden step" in its history. He was greeted by the island's first president, Sir Anthony Mamo.
The Libyan leader's visit coincides with plans being co-ordinated in Malta Prime Minister Dom Mintoff and delegations from four Arab countries -- including Libya -- for a 200-million-dollar (85,470,000 pounds sterling) ship-building yard at tho former British Royal Naval Air Service base. The other Arab partners in the scheme are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. France will provide techincal expertise and possibly equipment, and the yard will be designed to build tankers of up to 300,000 tons.
Also of special interest to Colonel Gaddafi o his visit is work on a 5,000-ton floating dock which Maltese workers are building for his country in the island's existing shipyard. Colonel Gaddafi visited the shipyard on the first day of his visit to inspect progress on the dock, which will be installed at Tripoli.
But the highlight of his visit will be the opening of a Libyan cultural centre facing the Grandmaster's Palace in the heart of Valletta. President Mamo's office is located in the palace.
Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth on December 13th after a decade of independence.