Spain Denies Port of Call to Ship Carrying Arms to Israel

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares speaks to the media, on the day of a meeting to discuss the post-Brexit future of Gibraltar, at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman/ File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares speaks to the media, on the day of a meeting to discuss the post-Brexit future of Gibraltar, at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman/ File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
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Spain Denies Port of Call to Ship Carrying Arms to Israel

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares speaks to the media, on the day of a meeting to discuss the post-Brexit future of Gibraltar, at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman/ File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares speaks to the media, on the day of a meeting to discuss the post-Brexit future of Gibraltar, at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman/ File Photo Purchase Licensing Rights

Spain has refused permission for a ship carrying arms to Israel to dock at a Spanish port, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel 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," he told reporters in Brussels.

"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 added, AFP reported.

The Spanish minister did not provide details on the ship but Transport Minister Oscar Puente said it was the Marianne Danica which had requested permission to call at the southeastern port of Cartagena on May 21.

El Pais newspaper said the Danish-flagged ship is carrying 27 tonnes of explosive material from Madras in India to the port of Haifa in Israel.

The announcement that permission had been denied comes amid a row between Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's Socialists and his coalition partners, the hard-left Sumar party, over another ship, the Borkum, which is due to dock in Cartagena on Friday.

Pro-Palestinian groups say the Borkum is carrying arms to Israel, prompting Sumar to demand that it 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 recognizing a Palestinian state.

Spain halted arms sales to Israel after it launched a military onslaught against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.



Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
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Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

A Canadian navy patrol ship sailed into Havana early on Friday, just hours after the United States announced a fast-attack submarine had docked at its Guantanamo naval base in Cuba, both vessels on the heels of Russian warships that arrived on the island earlier this week.
The confluence of Russian, Canadian and US vessels in Cuba - a Communist-run island nation just 145 km (90 miles) south of Florida - was a reminder of old Cold War tensions and fraught ties between Russia and Western nations over the Ukraine war, Reuters said.
However, both the US and Cuba have said the Russian warships pose no threat to the region. Russia has also characterized the arrival of its warships in allied Cuba as routine.
The Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, half submerged with its crew on deck, sailed into Havana harbor on Wednesday after conducting "high-precision missile weapons" training in the Atlantic Ocean, Russia's defense ministry said.
Canada`s Margaret Brooke patrol vessel began maneuvers early on Friday to enter Havana harbor, part of what the Canadian Joint Operations Command called "a port visit ... in recognition of the long-standing bilateral relationship between Canada and Cuba."
Hours earlier, the US Southern Command said the fast-attack submarine Helena had arrived on a routine port visit to Guantanamo Bay, a US naval base on the tip of the island around 850 km (530 miles) southeast of Havana.
"The vessel's location and transit were previously planned," Southern Command said on X.
Cuba`s foreign ministry said it had been informed of the arrival of the US submarine but was not happy about it.
"Naval visits to a country are usually the result of an invitation, and this was not the case," said Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío.
"Obviously we do not like the presence in our territory (of a submarine) belonging to a power that maintains an official and practical policy that is hostile against Cuba."
A Canadian diplomat characterized the Margaret Brooke`s arrival as "routine and part of long-standing cooperation between our two countries", adding it was "unrelated to the presence of the Russian ships."
Russia and Cuba were close allies under the former Soviet Union, and tensions with Washington over communism in its "backyard" peaked with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Moscow has maintained ties with Havana.
When asked what message Moscow was sending, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday the West never appeared to take notice when Russia sent signals through diplomatic channels.
"As soon as it comes to exercises or sea voyages, we immediately hear questions and a desire to know what these messages are about," Zakharova said. "Why do only signals related only to our army and navy reach the West?"
The Russian warships are expected to remain in Havana harbor until Monday.