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Spain congratulates Hammond and calls for dialogue on “Gibraltar and surrounding area”

Thursday, July 24th 2014 - 05:43 UTC
Full article 33 comments
 “What the Spanish Government has said is that our line of action is respect for international law,” said García-Margallo “What the Spanish Government has said is that our line of action is respect for international law,” said García-Margallo

Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo congratulated Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on his recent appointment and insisted that Spain’s action in Gibraltar is simply to seek compliance with legal obligations, but nevertheless called for dialogue.

 The encounter took place in the margins of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting this week that was focused on the Ukraine and the Middle East.

“What the Spanish Government has said is that our line of action is respect for international law,” said García-Margallo at a press conference. He cited UN resolutions and the 1984 (Gibraltar) Brussels Agreement as the basis for dialogue. He also said Spain had obligations around Gibraltar under EU norms on the environment and frontiers.

“To apply that law in Gibraltar and its surrounding area the best formula is dialogue,” he said. “For that we are perfectly disposed to accept ad hoc groups of variable geometry as referred to by the former foreign minister William Hague in March 2012,” he said.

Spanish Foreign Ministry briefed journalists on Spain’s resentment over the recent calling in of their Ambassador to London, Federico Trillo, and Mr Hammond’s own firm protest over an incident in which a Spanish Navy vessel had sought to redirect two commercial vessels heading to and from the port of Gibraltar on Wednesday (a week ago) because it said they were in ‘Spanish waters’.

Britain was clear the vessels had been in international waters.

Spain summoned the British ambassador, Simon Manley, on Friday to complain about Britain’s handling of the incident after Britain had summoned Spain’s ambassador on Thursday.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Vulcanbomber

    The more the Spanish do this, the more likely it is that QE aircraft carrier has a first port of call.

    Secondly, its about time Gibraltar sought its rightful 12 mile waters to the west, not just 3. The Spanish also need to remember, Spain is the No3 destination for Brits, it would be a shame to levy a tax on travel to that country, and how that would affect their economy. Not being nasty, its just the same as they threatened to do to people travelling to Gibraltar. Its time they grew up

    Jul 24th, 2014 - 06:42 am 0
  • ilsen

    They should apply International Law to themselves and leave Gibraltar well alone. Hypocrites!

    Jul 24th, 2014 - 10:48 am 0
  • JimHandley

    For:1 Vulcanbomber (#)

    Re: “The more the Spanish do this, the more likely it is that QE aircraft carrier has a first port of call.

    Secondly, its about time Gibraltar sought its rightful 12 mile waters to the west, not just 3. The Spanish also need to remember, Spain is the No3 destination for Brits, it would be a shame to levy a tax on travel to that country, and how that would affect their economy. Not being nasty, its just the same as they threatened to do to people travelling to Gibraltar. Its time they grew up.”

    I don’t think that under EU rules, it would be legal to subject those travelling to Spain, to a UK tax and I certainly can’t envisage that those Britons obliged to pay such a levy, ever voting again for politicians responsible for its imposition!

    The only thing one could do to hinder travel air/sea travel to Spain would be to take a leaf out of the Spaniards’ own book and to ‘expediently reverse engineer’ the rules regulating entry to / exit from the UK, thus making it necessary that travellers present themselves at the air/sea port, some 10 or 12 hours before the time of departure. But I don’t need delineate the detailed of effects of such a move –not only on the public but on the air/sea lines, police, emigration services, et cetera too. Nor do I need to speculate on the irate reaction of all the adversely affected parties…

    So once again, we are forced to look straight into REALITY’s ugly face, for the so-called sovereign interests of Britain, Spain and those of virtually every other country on the face of the earth, are SECONDARY to the desires of International Big Banking / Business.

    Cheers!

    Jim, in Madrid.

    Jul 24th, 2014 - 11:10 am 0
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