The chief minister of the UK-occupied territory of Gibraltar has warned Spanish ships could be mistaken by the Royal Navy as “terrorists” and shot at if they enter its waters, media reports say.
Fabian Picardo threatened Spanish ships against making incursions into what he called British waters, saying they may “find themselves shot at by UK forces because they are not identified as the vessel of a friendly nation,” British media reported.
His warnings came after the Ramon Margalef, a Spanish oceanographic survey ship, entered Gibraltar's territorial waters on Monday and defied repeated orders from British Royal Navy patrol boat HMS Sabre to leave.
The captain of the Spanish vessel was overheard through radio exchanges insisting that he was there with the permission of the Spanish government to carry out survey work.
"We are carrying out oceanographic works which are in the interest of the European Community. We will continue with our work," said the defiant Spanish captain in response to orders to leave by the Royal Navy.
The British captain was heard over the radio ordering the Spanish vessel repeatedly to leave the area.
Spain's ambassador to the UK Federico Trillo was summoned to the Foreign Office and told that the incursions were "unlawful". This is the third time that a Spanish envoy has been summoned since the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took office in December 2011.
Labour MP Jim Dobbin, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Gibraltar, said on Tuesday that he was “worried Spain and the UK could accidentally end up trading shots as tensions between the two countries increase.”
Fabian Picardo also talked about the possibility of more senior assets of the Royal Navy being put at the disposal of the commander of British Forces in Gibraltar.
Gibraltar is one of the British Overseas Territories, which is on the United Nations list of areas waiting decolonization. The British territory was seized from Spain in 1713 and remains a bone of contention between the two European countries.
Tensions between Spain and Britain arose in mid-July after authorities in Gibraltar dumped 70 blocks of concrete in waters close the territory’s coast, aimed at creating an artificial reef.
But, Spain denounced the action as “an environmental crime,” saying the blocks have made it impossible for Spanish fishing boats to work in the area.
In response, Madrid imposed strict border controls on vehicles coming to or leaving the so-called Rock, creating long queues for workers and tourists entering Gibraltar.
Disana baru masuk perairan aja sudah dianggap terroris, semetara di sini sudah bunuhin org, bikin teror masyarakat masih dianggap kelompok bersenjata/GPK
Btw keuntungan bagi Ingrris apakah kalau mempertahankan "bukit karang" ini
rasa rasa wajar jika uk demikian sikapnya...... wong sejarah aja sejak jaman batu rebus rasa roti aja tuh negara2 eropa pada salaman sembunyi pedang ditangan kiri..... inggris ma spanyol dr dulu kan menang gitu..... btw keterlaluan juga baru deketin aja d anggap teroris..... di indonesia kasus lusitania expresso ma greenpisspot aja cuma d hadang.... diperingatin.... coba tni menganut paham uk, mereka dah dianggap teroris dan di dorr dan jadi rumpon tuh mereka..... :