Rajoy Wants Andalusia in Meetings Over Gibraltar Row With U.K.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that meetings to solve the dispute over Gibraltar should include officials from the region of Andalusia as well as representatives of the enclave alongside the U.K. and Spain.

Andalusia, adjacent to Gibraltar in southern Spain, is responsible for fishing and environment policy in the area, Rajoy said in a speech in Palma de Mallorca today after meeting King Juan Carlos to discuss the row. Spain plans to take measures to defend its national interest, he added.

“Our priority is to talk through the issues, to negotiate and reach an agreement that is sensible and civilized,” the Spanish premier said.

The dispute stems from Gibraltar’s decision in July to build an artificial reef -- comprising 70 blocks of concrete -- in disputed waters near its airport. That obstructed access to a shellfishing area for Spanish boats. Rajoy spoke to his U.K. counterpart David Cameron on Aug. 7 and said today he hoped their respective foreign ministers will discuss the matter again soon.

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