Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff today (Saturday) lifted the January 15 ultimatum for the evacuation of British troops from the island, and said that a new defence agreement now seemed possible.
SV Mr. Mintoff out of building and surrounded by press (NATURAL SOUND)
DITTO, Mr. Mintoff makes statement.. SOUND STARTS: "The Maltese Government.." SOUND ENDS: ".... now and Wednesday, that is all I shall say",
SV Carrington out of building SOUND STARTS: "I expect to be meeting......" SOUND ENDS: "..... That's all, that's all"
MV Carrington walks to car pursued by pressmen
MINTOFF: "The Maltese Government, having received the assurances of the British Government of non-interference in the internal affairs of Malta, and having seen evidence of the possibility of a new agreement on defence facilities in Malta being reached, has removed the deadline of January 15th 1972, for the withdrawal of British forces from Malta"
REPORTER: "How much more money have you got? Do you think the talks have been a success so far?"
MINTOFF: "That is all we have to say now. Everybody's happy".
REPORTER:" When are you next seeing the British Government officials?"
MINTOFF: "It depends very much on certain results between now and Wednesday. That is all I shall say".
CARRINGTON: "I expect to be meeting Mr. Mintoff again sometime next week, so a little progress has been made. That's all, that's all."
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This film was recorded by Visnews from a British Broadcasting Corporation transmission via Eurovision.
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Background: Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff today (Saturday) lifted the January 15 ultimatum for the evacuation of British troops from the island, and said that a new defence agreement now seemed possible.
The announcement came at the end of crisis talks at a villa on the outskirts of Rome. With Mr. Mintoff at the seven-hour talks were British Defence Secretary Lord Carrington and NATO Secretary-General, Dr. Joseph Luns.
Mr. Mintoff and Lord Carrington were mobbed by preemen as they left the villa, and made brief statements.
SYNOPSIS: After seven hours of talks in a Rome villa on Saturday, Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff announced that his Government was lifting the deadline for the withdrawal of British forces from the island. The deadline was due to expire the same day. It was clear that some progress had been made but none of those taking part would reveal details of any fresh agreement.
British Defence Secretary Lord Carrington was equally non-committal.
In London, Lord Carrington said Britain would continue its planned withdrawal of troops from the island. On the question of payments to Malta, he said if any extra money was offered, it would be NATO money and not British money.