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Spain Refuses Entry to Ship Carrying Arms for Israel

Spain Refuses Entry to Ship Carrying Arms for Israel

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NEW DELHI, May 17: Spain has refused entry to dock at one of its ports a ship carrying arms to Israel, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said on Thursday.

The Denmark-flagged cargo ship Marianne Danica had sailed from Chennai on April 8 and was headed to the port of Haifa in Israel, according to maritime tracking portals.

Spain has been extremely critical of the rising civilian casualties in Gaza due to the Israeli offensive and along with Belgium has suspended arms exports licenses to Tel Aviv.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels on the entry being denied, Mr Albares said, “This is the first time we have done this because it is the first time we have detected a ship carrying a shipment of arms to Israel that wants to call at a Spanish port.

This will be a consistent policy with any ship carrying arms to Israel that wants to call at Spanish ports. The Foreign Ministry will systematically reject such stopovers for one obvious reason: the Middle East does not need more weapons, it needs more peace, he stated.

The ship was carrying 27 tonnes of explosives according to local reports. It was to make a port call at Cartegena in Spain. Mr Albares has said couple of months back that they suspended arms export licences to Israel since October 7, which he said made them “realise” the importance of a “fair and lasting solution” to the Palestinian cause.

The incident comes amid ongoing row between Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s party and his coalition partners over another ship, Borkum, due to dock at Cartegena port on Friday over allegations that it was carrying arms meant for Israel. However, the government has said the arms it is carrying were meant for the Czech Republic. Belgium had suspended two arms export licenses to Israel.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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