Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Catching up on the Gibraltar story

The UK has sent HMS Westminster to Gibraltar or, to be precise, to take part in the Cougar '13 naval exercise. This seems to signal to the media that the situation is getting more tense. Meanwhile, Spain is bringing out the heavy artillery: it is threatening to take its case to the UN where it will have one ally at least, Argentina.
Earlier, newspaper El País said Spain could take the matter to the International Court of Justice, the UN General Assembly or the UN Security Council, where Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García Margallo will seek support from Argentina, which is serving a term.
However, other players have entered the game. We hear from EUObserver that Catalan separatists have expressed solidarity with the people of Gibraltar.
Party leader Alfred Bosch told Gibraltar:"Your freedom is our freedom."
Quite so. May I call his and everybody else's attention to this blog's title. Meanwhile, there is a possibility that Morocco might start stirring in the matters of Ceuta and Melilla, which are inexplicably continue to be Spanish possessions.
Samir Bennis, a Moroccan and political adviser on Arab affairs at the UN in New York, said Spain operated “double standards” by dismissing Moroccan sovereignty claims over Ceuta and Melilla as unfounded while pursuing its own claim over Gibraltar.
He gives a kind of an explanation for this anomalous situation:
“What mattered most during the Sixties and Seventies when such things were discussed was for Morocco to recover its territories in the south, including the Spanish protectorate of the Western Sahara,” Mr Bennis, who has published books on the subject, told the British newspaper.

“That was cleverly exploited by Spain who persuaded Morocco not to take the matter of Ceuta and Melilla up with the UN but agree to make it a strictly bilateral issue between Spain and Morocco.”
Will the UN now take up the matter of Ceuta and Melilla? Will it take up the matter of Western Sahara, whose people might not want to be part of Morocco?

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