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Spanish king visits part of Spain - Morocco throws hissy fit

Mainly because the parts of Spain in question are Ceuta and Melilla, the Gibraltar-like enclaves in North Africa. And from a Moroccan spokesbod:

"Morocco “totally rejects and opposes” the visit, Moroccan government spokesman Khalid Naciri declared on Thursday, warning that it could harm relations. “There are some red lines regarding the territorial integrity of Morocco that should not be crossed — our Spanish friends should understand that,” he added". Source.

Her Maj has not been to the Rock since 1954, but our Spanish amigos do get a bit upset when royal-lets go there, as Princess Anne did in 2003:

"Britain enraged Spain yesterday by announcing that the Princess Royal will travel to Gibraltar next year to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the colony's conquest. The announcement that the Princess will visit the Rock added to Madrid's anger after the failure earlier this year to strike a deal on Anglo-Spanish co-sovereignty over Gibraltar. "Although this is of symbolic rather than political importance it is clearly not going to be something that helps to resolve the dispute," said a Spanish government spokesman. "In fact it is far from helpful."

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Blogger Count James d'Estaing said... 9:04 pm

Let the whole family travel there and have a knees up on the rock. They could call it the Drake Party.  



Anonymous Geoff said... 12:14 am

Although the visit hasn't really featured heavily in the local newspapers here, there is a substantial Moroccan community in Gib (my local pub, for example is run by Moroccans).

Spain isn't making any friends locally with this visit, as the consensus is that it is needlessly provocative - especially as Tripartite Forum (UK/Esp/Gib governments) will be holding their regular meeting next week to discuss ongoing political matters.

This time it is just down the road at Castellar de la Frontera (it's been held in London, Portugal etc etc before and moves each time) so there is *much* local speculation that the 'coincidental' timing of the Royal visit and the political talks is a direct dig at our process of decolonisation and international recognition against Spanish claims that their own enclaves are Spanish in perpetuity.

The Spanish Govt published a press release last week reiterating that they would "never" drop their claim to Gib. They'll be asking for East Florida back next.  



Anonymous Geoff said... 11:45 pm

Doubtless you will also have noticed:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7075669.stm

Everyone is grumpy across here, and the Gib Chronicle is getting agitated too now so this is all going to be a lot of fun for us even though we aren't even involved.  



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