Silver Lining

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Spain demands UK to remove Gibraltar reef

Al Ahed news

Spain demanded Britain on Tuesday to remove 70 concrete blocks that had been dropped into the waters off the autonomous Gibraltar before agreeing to dialogue.

For his part, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo sharply slated Gibraltar’s concrete reef built last month in disputed waters of the Mediterranean.

Spain is renew dialogue talks with Britain, according to Garcia-Margallo, but “as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy observed earlier month to his British counterpart David Cameron, it is first necessary for the UK to show that it intends to undo the damage that has already been caused, in particular by removing the concrete blocks.”

The Gibraltarian government, belonging to the British Overseas Territories, believes the concrete reef in the Bay of Gibraltar will regenerate marine life and that Spanish fishermen illegally fish in their waters.

However, Garcia-Margallo stated in response that “Spain had no doubt about its sovereignty over the waters,” and that “they were never included in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht under which Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in perpetuity.”

“These waters and this land therefore have always remained under Spanish sovereignty,” he added.

The concrete reef came amidst heated diplomatic disputes over the 6.8 km2 Gibraltar territories, home to about 30,000 people of Gibraltarians and other nationalities.

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