Lord Carrington, who signed defence deal with Mintoff, passes away at 99

Carrington had called Mintoff "a genuine patriot" despite his "impossible behaviour"

Dom Mintoff (left) and Lord Carrington signing the defence agreement between Malta and Britain, at Marlborough House, London (Source: Getty Images)
Dom Mintoff (left) and Lord Carrington signing the defence agreement between Malta and Britain, at Marlborough House, London (Source: Getty Images)

Lord Peter Carrington, the former Defence Secretary who negotiated a defence agreement with former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, has passed away at the age of 99.

In his autobiography Lord Carrington wrote that  "despite the impossibility of his behaviour" Mintoff was "a genuine patriot".

Interviewed on Michael Parkinson’s popular BBC talk show, Carrington described the Maltese Prime Minister as one of the toughest negotiators he ever came across.

Carrington was the longest serving member of the House of Lords and served in the cabinet of six Conservative prime ministers from Winston Churchill  to Margaret Thatcher . He resigned as foreign secretary in 1982, three days after Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, accepting full responsibility as the minister in charge on what he later called the most sorrowful day of his political life. He also served as Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988.

Locally Carrington is best remembered as Mintoff’s counterpart in negotiations which forged a new defence and financial agreement,  through which he trebled the British financial contribution for their use of the island as a base while renewing the military presence to 1979.

In the agreement reached on 26 March 1972, Mintoff secured a financial package of £14 million per year as rent for the use of Malta as a British base for the next five years.

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