Malta gave its highest award, the Order of the Republic, to visiting Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday (22 May).
GV Valletta harbour PAN TO Guard of honour and flags
MV Gaddafi and Mintoff in open car pass crowd (2 shots)
MV Gaddafi waves to crowd and inspects guard of honour (4 shots)
MV People wave as Gaddafi crosses square to enter building (4 shots)
MV Gaddafi and Mintoff take stage watched by audience (2 shots)
MV Mintoff presents Gaddafi with medal and sash as TV camera films (3 shots)
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Background: Malta gave its highest award, the Order of the Republic, to visiting Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday (22 May).
Malta's President Sir Anthony Mamo presented Colonel Gaddafi with the award to thank him for the moral, material and financial help Libya gave Malta in 1971 and 1972 during the island's dispute with Britain. The dispute was over Malta's request that Britain pay more for its military base on the island.
Malta receives 14 million pounds sterling (nearly 27 million U.S. dollars) from Britain and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries at the moment, but Maltese Prime Minister Mr. Dom Mintoff has said the agreement will not be renewed when it expires in 1979.
On Friday (21 May) Colonel Gaddafi promised that Libya would give more financial aid to Malta to help support the base. He also told a crowd of students that Malta did not need relations with western countries who, he said, were only interested in the island for military reasons.
The day he received the award Colonel Gaddafi and Mr. Mintoff discussed an agreement to search for oil across the Mediterranean between Malta and Libya.
As Colonel Gaddafi arrived on Friday pro-government Maltese newspapers hailed him as "Malta's greatest friend". The Colonel is expected to return to Libya on Sunday (23 May) night.