LONDON Nov 15 Britain condemned what it called
"provocative incursions" into waters around the British
territory of Gibraltar by Spanish navy and customs ships, and
summoned Spain's ambassador on Thursday to express its concern
over the issue.
The spat is part of a long-running dispute over Gibraltar, a
peninsula in southern Spain ceded to the British in 1713.
Britain's Minister for Europe David Lidington noted two
"serious incursions" into Gibraltar's waters on Tuesday.
"The UK has repeatedly made diplomatic protests to Spain
over attempts by Spanish state authorities to exercise
jurisdiction in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters," Lidington
said in a statement.
"I condemn these provocative incursions and urge the Spanish
government to ensure that they are not repeated," he said.
British Foreign Office Permanent Under Secretary Simon
Fraser has summoned Spanish ambassador Federico Trillo, the
Foreign Office said.
No one at Spain's Foreign Ministry or at the Spanish embassy
in London was immediately available for comment.
Earlier this year, Spain accused police from Gibraltar of
chasing its fishermen from Spanish waters and deployed Civil
Guard officers to protect their boats.
Gibraltar and Britain said the police were enforcing fishing
laws within their waters.
Spain's Queen Sofia pulled out of a lunch to celebrate the
diamond jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth earlier this year
as the dispute escalated.
Spain's centre-right government led by Mariano Rajoy has
taken a strong line on Gibraltar, which houses traditional
British red phone boxes, pubs and fish and chip shops.