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Spain congratulates new UK FM and calls for "Dialogue on Gibraltar"

Source: Metro Press - Thu 24th Jul 2014
Spain congratulates new UK FM  and calls for 'Dialogue on Gibraltar'

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.

Read the timeline of the ongoing conflict over Gibraltar by clicking the link > HERE <

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