Spain's Acting Chief of State, Prince Juan Carlos, paid a flying four hour visit to his troops stationed in the disputed Spanish Sahara on Sunday (2 November).
SV Juan Carlos steps down from aircraft and greeted.
SV band playing and Juan Carlos taking salute.
SV & CU Juan Carlos speaking to military heads.
Initials MV/1825 1840
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Background: Spain's Acting Chief of State, Prince Juan Carlos, paid a flying four hour visit to his troops stationed in the disputed Spanish Sahara on Sunday (2 November).
The 37 years old Prince, wearing an Army General's uniform, told a gathering of military men in the capital El Aaiun that Spain wanted a peaceful solution of the Sahara crisis but would protect the rights of the 74,000 people of the territory.
The military men ranging from generals to noncommissioned officers included the tough soldiers of the Spanish Foreign Legion, the elite corps to which the dying General Francisco Franco once belonged.
Spain is locked in a bitter dispute with Morocco over the territory. King Hassan of Morocco has said he will lead 350,000 of his people into the Spanish Sahara to stake his claim.
In the United Nations on Sunday Spain served notice that its armed forces would resist any such move.
In the little desert capital, three out of every four people in the European quarter are soldiers. They stand at street corners with machine guns while jeeps patrol incessantly. Business in the city is almost at a standstill and many civilians and officials are being evacuated.
The crisis in the phosphaturic desert territory was precipitated more than two weeks ago when the International Court of Justice at the Hauge ruled that although Morocco and Mauritania had both had links with the nomadic people of Spanish Sahara before Spain colonised it, neither country could claim sovereignty over it. King Hassan responded by organising the unarmed march.