Spain is considering forging an anti-British alliance with Argentina, adopting its strategy over the Falklands Islands, as the diplomatic row over Gibraltar intensifies.
By Fiona Govan, Madrid
1:46PM BST 11 Aug 2013
Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo will use a trip to Buenos Aires next month to raise the possibility of forging a joint diplomatic offensive with the South American country over the disputed territories, sources told Spain’s El Pais newspaper.
Spain’s foreign ministry was also discussing whether to take its complaints over Gibraltar to the United Nations, the newspaper reported on Sunday.
The sources did not specify whether Spain would ask the UN to back a request for Britain to give up sovereignty or just adhere to certain agreements.
It could take its petition to the Security Council or take up the matter with the UN General Assembly.
Spain is also considering the option of denouncing Gibraltar to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for its “illegal occupation” of the isthmus – the strip of land connecting the peninsula to the mainland that was not included in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht.
Mr Margallo, who has threatened retaliatory measures against the Rock that include a 50 euro border tax and the closure of Spanish airspace to Gibraltar traffic, will meet with his Argentine counterpart to discuss a new alliance.
Spain has always been careful over showing support for Argentina’s long-standing claim over the Falkland Islands against its EU partner, and has had its own recent problems with the country.
Last year President Cristina Kirchner, nationalised oil company YPF, a subsidiary of Spanish firm Repsol, causing outrage from Spain’s government and striking a blow for bi-lateral relations.
But according to sources cited in El Pais, the nations’ two foreign ministers would meet to discuss an alliance in the UN over Gibraltar and Las Malvinas – as the Falkland Islands are known in Spanish.
Last week Mrs Kirchner renewed her country’s demand for talks on the sovereignty of the islands at the UN Security Council.
The Argentine president said: “This is not a fanciful stance. We simply want the United Nations resolution to be enforced and for our two countries to sit down and discuss this.”
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed on Friday to take “every legal step to necessary” to protect his country’s interests over Gibraltar.
His threat came a day after it emerged Britain was sending a naval warships to the area as “part of a routine deployment”.
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