Caruana praises Spain's 'open' policy on Rock
10 December 2004, LONDON - Gibraltar's Chief Minister Peter Caruana praised the Spanish government for being open to his administration's proposals on the future status of the British territory, but added Gibraltarians would always insist on their right to self-determination.
10 December 2004
LONDON - Gibraltar's Chief Minister Peter Caruana praised the Spanish government for being open to his administration's proposals on the future status of the British territory, but added Gibraltarians would always insist on their right to self-determination.
The future of Gibraltar "will not be other than that which the people of
Gibraltar desire," Caruana told Spanish Radio Cadena Ser.
Spain ceded the territory on its south coast to Britain under the 1713
Treaty of Utrecht but maintains a constitutional claim and the issue has long
caused friction in relations between London and Madrid.
Caruana attended two-day trilateral talks on how the colony should be run
at the Chevening residency just outside London of British Foreign Minister
Jack Straw earlier in the week.
Britain's Foreign Office deemed the discussions "constructive and useful."
Caruana said Spain had shown a new willingness to negotiate positively and
"recognised the reality" that the people of Gibraltar have the right "to decide their own future for themselves."
He added the talks had not sought to set in stone Gibraltar's future but
establish "a dialogue with an open agenda, whose focus is mutual cooperation."
Also attending the talks were the director of EU foreign police at the Foreign Office, Dominick Chilcott, and his counterpart from Spain, Jose Maria Pons.
The meeting in London came after a similar one in Spain a month and a half
ago at foreign minister level, between Straw and counterpart Miguel Angel Moratinos, at which both sides began discussing how to boost cooperation, following a near two-year interruption.
In November 2002, the 30,000 citizens of Gibraltar nearly unanimously voted in an unofficial referendum to maintain their status as a British territory, cocking a snook at Anglo-Spanish plans to attempt to move towards future joint sovereignty.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news