Members of the United States Congress are visiting Gibraltar to ‘show support’ for the Rock as they reflected on the close links between Gibraltar and the US. Acting Gibraltar Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia welcomed a delegation from the Congress of the United States to Gibraltar on Monday afternoon before taking them through a series of meetings throughout the course of yesterday.
The group is currently visiting Gibraltar under the UK Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act program and will be on the Rock for two days. The fact-finding visit comes against the backdrop of the Gibraltar Government’s mission to raise the profile of Gibraltar among decision-makers in the US.
Among the issues discussed throughout the day were Brexit and how Gibraltar has developed economically, institutionally and politically over the last 300 years.
The bipartisan delegation includes Republican Congressman George Holding who is regarded as a friend of both the United Kingdom and Gibraltar and is a recent recipient of the Gibraltar Medallion of Honour.
Representative Holding played a key role in the tabling of a Resolution in the House of Representatives which supports the right of the people of Gibraltar to self-determination.
He was also a member of the Congressional delegation that visited Gibraltar under the UK-US MECEA last year. Also among the delegation from the United States Congress are Democrat Gerry Connolly and Republican Jim Sensenbrenner.
Dr Garcia briefed the visiting members of congress on the historical, political and constitutional development of Gibraltar at a meeting in the cabinet room of No. 6 Convent Place. The Members of Congress then met with American Chamber of Commerce Gibraltar representatives also at No.6.
Delivering a speech to members at a lunchtime reception held at Grand Battery House, Dr Garcia reflected on the military, commercial and educational connections that exist between the Rock and the US.
The visit, Dr Garcia said, symbolises the connection between Gibraltar and the United States of America born out of Gibraltar’s military role at the entrance to the Mediterranean.
Dr Garcia also briefed students who are leaving for Washington on an internship programme on US-Gibraltar relations. The scheme, which is run through the Department of Education, commenced in September 2013 and has seen 100 students, including the existing group, benefit from the program. (Gibraltar Chronicle)