The Gibraltar Government said it appreciated the “huge” level of support for Gibraltar from UK, European and Spanish parliamentarians, and announced the launching of a media operation to reverse the ‘bought-in’ misleading versions propagated by the Spanish government on the current situation.
The most high profile support for Gibraltar has been from the Minister for Europe, David Lidington, writing in The Sun and from Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, writing in the Daily Telegraph.
“These are in addition to massive support in writing from citizens from around the world who have seen the very favourable treatment the world’s press have given to the Gibraltar story in the past week,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.
“That does not include the Spanish media where although some newspapers have carried some articles which are based on facts, most of the newspapers have ‘bought-in’ to the misleading versions propagated by the Spanish government.”
The Gibraltar Government noted that the weekend press and television in Spain had been full of misleading allegations against Gibraltar.
“Each of these will be challenged by the Government in correspondence as well as in public statements designed to reverse the negative impression that such allegations may have given” the statement said.
Meanwhile it was announced that Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster sailed from Portsmouth on Tuesday as part of the Cougar ’13 deployment to the Mediterranean and Gulf which involves thousands of RN, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel. She is expected to call in Gibraltar.
The long-planned deployment will see elements of the UK’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG) hone its world-class maritime skills thousands of miles from the UK through exercises with a number of key allies.
HMS Westminster, a Type 23 frigate, is among ten RN and RFA ships taking part in Cougar ’13, including helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious which sailed from Portsmouth on Monday.
On completion of the exercise HMS Westminster will deploy to the Middle East and Indian Ocean as part of the RN’s standing commitment in the region. She will provide reassurance to the UK’s allies in the region, conducting maritime exercises with other nations and carrying out maritime security and counter-piracy patrols.