Monday, August 12, 2013

Spain, Argentina to discuss move against UK

Source: Press TV

Spain may join Argentina in a diplomatic offensive against Britain over disputed territories, a report says.

Spanish Foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo is to discuss the issue with Argentinean authorities during a trip to Buenos Aires next month, according to a report published by Spanish newspaper El Pais on Sunday.

The report also said that the Spanish foreign ministry is considering taking its complaints over British-held territory Gibraltar to the United Nations Security Council or to its General Assembly.

Furthermore, Spain is looking into the option of denouncing Gibraltar to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for its “illegal occupation” of an area, called Isthmus, which connects the territory to the mainland. The land strip was not included in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.

Margallo is scheduled to meet Argentina’s Foreign Minister Hector Timerman, whose administration is also in a long-standing dispute with Britain over the sovereignty of Malvinas Islands.

Spain vowed on August 9 to take all necessary measures to defend its interest in Gibraltar, after reports revealed that Britain is set to send naval ships to the territory.

Tension between the two countries arose after authorities in Gibraltar dumped 70 blocks of concrete in waters close the territory’s coast in mid-July, aimed at creating an artificial reef.

However, Spain denounced the action, saying the blocks had been dumped “without any type of authorization and breaking several environmental norms.”

In addition, Madrid said the concrete blocks seriously damaged the fishery, making it impossible for Spanish fishing boats to work in the area.

Gibraltar is one of the British Overseas Territories, which is on the United Nations list of areas waiting decolonisation.

The British territory was seized from Spain in 1713 and remains a bone of contention between the two European countries.


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