Britain, Spain Soften Over Rock

Settling of dispute over Gibraltar means EU can sign long-delayed treaties
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2008 11:12 AM CST
The Strait of Gibraltar. Gibraltar commands a strategic position at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. The British seized the enclave in 1704. The Spanish ceded it in a 1713 treaty but have wanted it...   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – Britain and Spain have worked out a compromise on Gibraltar that will pave the way for the EU to sign some important treaties, Reuters reports. Treaties on child protection and aviation had been held up for years because Spain balked at plans to let officials in the British enclave administer the treaties. Communications on the treaties will now go through London.

Gibraltar has been a source of friction between the two countries ever the British seized the strategic enclave at the mouth of the Mediterranean from Spain in 1704. Relations have often been edgy since, but the countries have softened over the issue in recent years and a ban on direct flights between Gibraltar and Madrid has been lifted.