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The islands were part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1530, and were briefly controlled by the Capetian House of Anjou.In 1530 Charles I of Spain gave the Maltese islands to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in perpetual lease.On 13 December 1974 (Republic Day) it became a republic within the Commonwealth, with the President as head of state.On 31 March 1979 Malta saw the withdrawal of the last British troops and the Royal Navy from Malta.Pottery found by archaeologists at the Skorba Temples resembles that found in Italy, and suggests that the Maltese islands were first settled in 5200 BCE mainly by Stone Age hunters or farmers who had arrived from the Italian island of Sicily, possibly the Sicani.
The Muslim chronicler and geographer al-Himyari recounts that in 870 CE, following a violent struggle against the occupying Byzantines, the Arab invaders, first led by Halaf al-Hadim, and later by Sawada ibn Muhammad, It is uncertain whether this new settlement took place as a consequence of demographic expansion in Sicily, as a result of a higher standard of living in Sicily (in which case the recolonisation may have taken place a few decades earlier), or as a result of civil war which broke out among the Arab rulers of Sicily in 1038.This day is known as Freedom Day and Malta declared itself as a neutral and non-aligned.Malta joined the European Union on and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2008.They are claimed to belong to a population certainly different from that which built the previous megalithic temples.
It is presumed the population arrived from Sicily because of the similarity of Maltese dolmens to some small constructions found on the largest island of the Mediterranean sea.
Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. the islands were invaded by the Aghlabids in AD 870.