A top Libyan military delegation thanked the Maltese people and Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi on Monday for their "heroism" during the civil war that ousted Moamer Gaddafi, dpa reported.
The commander of the Libyan National Army, General Yousef El Mangoush, said the way Malta had acted, when the international community had not yet become involved, showed the island's heroism, and this would always be remember by the Libyans.
El Mangoush was speaking in Valletta as Malta symbolically returned two fighter jets to Libya, nearly a year after they were flown to the Mediterranean island by defectors who defied orders to bomb civilians.
The Mirage fighters landed in Malta in February 2011 after two pilots had been told to strike a village of 1,300 near Benghazi.
Their defections helped convince the world that Gaddafi's regime had embarked on a campaign of violence to silence protesters and eventually led to the UN no-fly zone being imposed over Libya, tipping the balance in favour of anti-Gaddafi forces.