TWO of the Rock’s political heavyweights made an impassioned plea to the United Nations to recognise Gibraltarian sovereignty in the wake of ‘stagnant’ Spanish territorial claims.

Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo and Chairman of the Self Determination Group for Gibraltar, Richard Buttigieg were granted an audience with the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee.

The Chief Minister argued that Spain must respect that Gibraltar has freely expressed its desire to govern itself and this will not change.

“Our referendums were then held peacefully and respect in keeping with British principles in respect of democracy and the rule of law.

“Gibraltarians respect each other and their neighbours and abide by international laws and obligations,” he said.

Mr. Buttigieg questioned why after decades of aggressive Spanish rhetoric, Gibraltarians would even consider abiding by Spanish rule.

“How can we trust a Nation which isolated us from the world and strangled us politically and economically for over a decade just because we had the audacity to express our feelings in a democratic Referendum?

“How can we trust a Nation that, even in this day and age sends out anti-riot vehicles and paramilitary forces against its own people merely because they have the temerity of wanting to exercise their right to choose?” he posed.

The pairing requested that the United Nations send a UN visiting mission to Gibraltar so the international community could better understand Spanish pressure and publish clear criteria so that Gibraltar could achieve de-listing.

“We will never give up our undeniable right to self-determination. And we will pay whatever price is necessary to uphold our democratic freedoms,” Richard concluded.