Spain Blocks Ship Carrying Arms To Israel, Says Middle East Needs Peace Not Arms

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Spain Denies Permission To Ship Carrying Arms To Israel, Says Middle East Needs Peace, Not More Weapons

Spanish foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, has said that the country has refused to grant permission to a ship carrying arms to Israel to dock at a Spanish port.

“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,” The Guardian UK quoted Albares as saying on Thursday.

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

However, Albares did not provide details on the ship but the transport minister, Óscar Puente, said it was the Marianne Danica that had requested permission to call at the south-eastern port of Cartagena on May 21.

It was reported that El País said the Danish-flagged ship was carrying 27 tonnes of explosive material from Chennai in India to the port of Haifa in Israel.

The announcement comes during a row between Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s Socialists and his coalition partners, the leftwing Sumar alliance, over another ship, the Borkum, due to dock in Cartagena on Friday.

Pro-Palestinian groups say the Borkum is carrying arms to Israel, prompting Sumar to demand that it should be turned away.

But Puente said the Borkum was transporting military material to the Czech Republic, not Israel.

Spain has been one of Europe’s most critical voices about Israel’s Gaza offensive and is working to rally other European capitals behind the idea of recognising a Palestinian state.

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