In Paris British and Spanish government officials got together on Wednesday (15 March) for further talks on the centuries-old dispute over Gibraltar.
In Paris British and Spanish government officials got together on Wednesday (15 March) for further talks on the centuries-old dispute over Gibraltar. Britain was represented by Foreign Secretary David Owen, and Spain's negotiators included the Foreign Minster, Marcello Oreja. Gibraltar's interests were represented by its Chief Minister, Sir Josua Hassan, and Opposition leader Maurice Kiberras.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting took place at the Chateau De La Muette, the headquarters of the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, (OECD). The new round of talks on the future of Gibraltar followed a meeting between Britain and Spain in Strasbourg in November last year. But even before Wednesday's negotiations got underway, both sides admitted that no quick solution could be expected. Gibraltar's Opposition Leader Maurice Kiderras told newsmen he was looking forward to a useful meeting that would pick up where the Strasbourg talks had left off. Britain's Foreign Secretary Dr. David Owen stressed the importance of having the two Gibraltar leaders involved in the talks. But he too warned that negotiations could be drawn out.
Dr. Owen said the Spanish Foreign Minster, Senor Marcelino Oreja had shown great readiness to enter the latest round of Gibraltar talks.
After the initial round of discussions, which lasted more than four hours, the British and Spanish negotiators said progress had definitely been made. Dr Owen said there were signs of increased confidence between the parties.