Britain's withdrawal form military bases on Malta, due for completion by the end of March, is now reaching a crucial stage.
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Background: Britain's withdrawal form military bases on Malta, due for completion by the end of March, is now reaching a crucial stage. The Royal Air Force is currently preparing to remove sophisticated and secret equipment form its Luqa base. Under the codename "Operation Deep Surgery" heavy British military installations are also being dismantled.
While the stalemate on the diplomatic front continues -- there's been an exchange of messages between Malta and London over the week-end, but no move towards renewed talks -- Visnews cameraman Larry Calleja has been filming dockyard scenes of equipment being loaded ready for shipping back to Britain.
SYNOPSIS: Another shipment of British military equipment leaves Malta -- part of the continuing withdrawal form the island which is now reaching a crucial stage.
Loading continues under the supervision of an Army Major. This stage of the withdrawal is called "Operation Deep Surgery". It involves dismantling and shipping out heavy installations, including secret radar equipment used by the Royal Air Force. By last weekend, twenty-five thousand tons had been shipped by sea, and another two-thousand tons flown out.
While the withdrawal continues, there's been no break in the diplomatic statement. Since the last round of Rome talks failed a fortnight ago, London and Malta have exchanged messages. But there had been no reaction at the start of the week to suggestions that the British and Maltese Prime Ministers should meet.