British Gibraltar warns Spanish ships

The chief minister of Gibraltar has warned Spanish ships that enter its waters that they may be fired upon, as tensions increase between Spain and the UK over the sovereignty of the peninsula.

British Gibraltar warns Spanish ships

World Bulletin / News Desk

"Spanish ships could be mistaken for terrorists and shot at," Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo said in regards to "the ongoing incursion" by a Spanish vessel into British Gibraltar territorial waters which may be considered contrary to international law.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) summoned Spain's Ambassador to the UK Federico Trillo on Tuesday in order to condemn the "ongoing incursion" by a Spanish vessel. The FCO expressed that the Spanish RV Ramon Margalef vessel undertook surveying activities in British Gibraltar territorial waters on November 18 and 19 for more than 20 hours.

In regards to the long-standing tensions between Spain and the UK over Gibraltar, the European Commission stressed last week that border checks by Spain at its border with Gibraltar did not break EU laws.

Tension rose between the UK and Spain over the former British colony of Gibraltar a few months ago as Spain imposed strict border controls with the British territory after a row over the creation by Gibraltar of an artificial reef in disputed waters.

The dispute began with allegations that the rights of Spanish fishermen fishing off Gibraltar had been infringed upon. Gibraltarian authorities stated they were trying to protect the marine life by placing large concrete reefs, but Spanish authorities argued that fishing was being blocked by the British territory's concrete reefs.

The UK asked Spanish authorities to halt increased security searches on vehicles which caused major delays for tourists and locals in August and, following its complaints to the European Commission, the EU assessed the legality of the checks in September.

Last Mod: 20 Kasım 2013, 15:04
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