Morocco wants Spain out of invaded of islet
Morocco-Spain, Politics, 7/19/2002
The Moroccan government has insistently asked Spain to withdraw immediately and unconditionally from the Moroccan Tora/Leila Islet and to rescind all measures taken regarding the Islet, to evidence its genuine resolve to open a frank and constructive dialogue with Morocco and establish a climate of security in the strategic region of the Strait of Gibraltar.
This came in the preliminary statement made by Moroccan Minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa at a news conference he held in Rabat Wednesday afternoon.
Benaissa likened Spain's occupation of the islet to "an act of war" and described the invasion as "a blatant violation of the form and essence of the Moroccan-Spanish treaty of friendship, neighborliness and cooperation, signed in 1991, and which provides for the respect of the independence of the two countries and for settling all disputes, whatever their nature and under whatever circumstances, through dialogue and peaceful means.
This invasion is a breach to international legality and is an ignoble act which amounts to an act of war as it is a blatant occupation infringing historical and legal realities, Benaissa said.
He recalled that historical realities, conventions concluded with Spain as well as documents filed at the UNO, general rules of international law and even the very Spanish legislation evidence that this islet is an integral part of Moroccan national territory.
Benaissa stated further that Morocco has always conducted surveillance operations near the islet coasts and on the islet itself which is located at 150 meters off Moroccan coasts. These operations are meant to secure the safety of international navigation in this region which has always been under Moroccan sovereignty which has never been questioned by Spain, neither before nor after it withdrew from Northern Morocco in 1956.
Morocco, King, government and people, remains mobilized and vigilant for the defense of its legitimate rights. It likewise remains attached to international legality and to preserving the interests binding it to Spain, Benaissa said, recalling that Morocco has always been keen on establishing neighborliness relations with its neighbors and is convinced that dialogue which characterizes its policy remains the appropriate way to settle disputes.
History confirms Leila islet is Moroccan territory, testimonies
Spain's Llamazares: invasion of Leila islet smacks of colonialism
The Guardian: impossible not to side with the Moroccans over Leila islet
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