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Direct Gibraltar-Madrid encounter.

Tuesday, August 31st 2004 - 21:00 UTC
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An agreed statement is expected to be made later this week following the private meeting held last weekend between Gibraltar Chief Minister Peter Caruana and Director General for Europe of the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry Jose Pons.

There were no details emerging from the private lunch hosted by Los Barrios Mayor and regional vice-secretary for PSOE Alonso Rojas. Mr. Pons arrived in the Campo on Saturday specifically for this encounter which is regarded by the Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos as a fresh policy of creating closer links with the Gibraltarian community and its political leaders.

Madrid has been anxious to get over the tercentenary celebrations and is also frustrated by the British Defence Ministry's ?provocations' in reference to the recent visits by nuclear sub HMS Tireless and the Tornado exercise.

Commenting on the lunch engagement Mr Caruana said: "I welcome this further opportunity for informal contact pursuant to the Government's commitment to proper and safe dialogue".

It is understood that the lunch on Saturday was amicable and that there are intentions to attempt to try and create conditions that would allow Gibraltar to participate in Brussels talks on the basis that sovereignty, though not abandoned, would be let to lie fallow at present.

Mayor of Los Barrios Alonso Rojas confirmed that the PSOE International Secretary Trinidad Jimenez will be meeting Chief Minister Peter Caruana in Gibraltar during a visit to the Campo scheduled for September. The visit to the area and the possibility of direct talks with the Chief Minister was arranged at a meeting of PSOE MP's in Madrid attended by Mr. Rojas.

New Tercentenary coin cover

The Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau has issued a Limited Edition Philatelic Coin Cover to commemorate the Tercentenary of British Gibraltar.

One thousand covers have been released. The Philatelic Coin Cover has been postmarked 4 August 2004. It includes the Tercentenary Stamp Sheet and the new Tercentenary Crown Coin.

"The most striking aspect of the design is the profusion of red, white and blue throughout the cover and on the stamps," said a spokesman for the Bureau. The front of the new crown coin depicts two children proudly holding the Gibraltar and UK flags during our tercentenary events. The new Philatelic Coin Cover is available from the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau Shop outside the Post Office or on the website The cover is priced at £8.50.

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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