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NEWS | Wednesday, 28 November 2007

US makes request for home port status at Shipyards

Matthew Vella

Foreign Minister Michael Frendo yesterday ruled out any discussions for the Malta Shipyards to be designated for Home Port Status to the United States government, following an informal request made by the American embassy.
He was answering a parliamentary question by shadow minister Leo Brincat, who asked at what stage was the proposal by the embassy to give the Malta Shipyards home port status.
Frendo said no formal application had been made for the status. “When this issue was raised informally, it was signalled that home port status can only be awarded when there is a Status Of Forces Agreement. It is not expected that such an agreement will be discussed.”
A Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) is an agreement between a country and a foreign nation stationing military forces in that country. The United States military has the largest foreign presence.
Frendo also said other discussions related to an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were still ongoing, in reply to Brincat’s query. Other questions by Brincat on Malta’s signature to extradition treaties and an air services agreement with the US, went unanswered.


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