Tuesday, 11 October 2011

"For Spain, the only solution about Gibraltar is its return"

Liam Fox and Peter Caruana
GIBRALTAR / SPAIN (Agencies) "For Spain, the only solution to the problem of Gibraltar lies in the return of the territory,  which was transferred by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 and later occupied by the United Kingdom without any legal basis whatsoever." Those were the words of the Spanish Ambassador to the UN, Juan Pablo de la Iglesia, addressing the UN's decolonization committee last Friday. He added that for the Spanish Government, Gibraltar is a "priority" and that the single applicable principle in this case is that of the Rock's integration into the territory of Spain, and not self-determination. The interests of the people of Gibraltar are "a separate subject that must be taken into account. As the administrative power, it is the UK that must negotiate, but Gibraltar could have a voice within that framework.">>>
Referring to the Trilateral Forum, de la Iglesia said Spain will continue to work with it "with the objective of resolving matters of local cooperation for the benefit and economic development of the inhabitants of Gibralatr and the Campo.

For his part, Chief Minister Peter Caruana addressed the committe saying, "Spain asserts that the political future of my country and its people should be negotiated, decided and imposed upon it by others. Pursuant to this remarkable position for this day and age, Spain asserts that our decolonisation can only be brought about by means of the transfer of our Sovereignty by the United Kingdom (who you still list as our so called administering power) to Spain, over our heads, contrary to and regardless of our wishes, and negotiated
bilaterally between them. All as if we had no rights and our wishes counted for nothing. We in Gibraltar do not agree with this. We will never do so." (Read Caruana's whole speech.)

The UK's Minister of Defence, Liam Fox, reaffirmed British sovereignty over Gibraltar in a speech given on the last day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, last Wednesday. He said, "And let's also be clear about Gibraltar. Gibraltar has had a strategic importance to the UK for 300 years. It remains an important naval base and there can be no question over its sovereignty." (Read Fox's whole speech.)

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