Forum to lose 'tripartite' aspect
GIBRALTAR (Agencies) While David Lidington, UK Secretary of State for Europe, was in Madrid confirming what he had announced early last year, that sovereignty of Gibraltar was not under discussion and would never be without the approval of the people of the Rock, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was saying that his government had no problem including the Campo de Gibraltar in the Forum, as long as Gibraltar continued to join the talks with its own delegation, separate from that of the UK. This, at any rate, was what a spokesperson for Picardo said in response to a proposal from the new PP government in Madrid, which announced the end of the 'tripartite' talks, also called Foro de Diálogo (Forum of Dialogue). Nonetheless, the talks are now open to a fourth member, named as 'Spanish regional authorities' without specifying that it meant the Campo de Gibraltar area. It should be added that, having been created in 2004 to deal with local cooperation matters, the Forum has been in suspense since 2010, when then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trinidad Jiménez, put it aside as the then Chief Minister Peter Caruana insisted on including the subject of sovereignty, something Madrid insists is only debatable between London and Madrid.