Spain Denies Port of Call to Vessel Carrying Indian Arms to Israel

Fri May 17 2024
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MADRID: Spain has denied docking to Danish-flagged vessel that was carrying 27 tonnes of explosive material from India’s Chennai city to the port of Haifa in Israel.

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares has said Spain refused permission for a ship carrying arms to Israel to dock at a Spanish port.

According to Turkish media the ship was reportedly loaded with 27 tonnes of explosive material from India and may have avoided entering Israel through Red Sea where Yemen’s Houthis are active.

Albares told reporters in Brussels that this is the first time Spain has done this because the ship was carrying a consignment of arms to Israel.

He added this will be a constant policy with any ship carrying weapons to Israel that wants to call at Spanish ports. He went on to say the foreign ministry will systematically reject such stopovers for one obvious reason.

The foreign minister said Middle East does not need more weapons, it needs more peace.

Her 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 port of Cartagena on May 21.

Israel- India arms nexus

Spanish El Pais newspaper said the Danish-flagged ship was carrying 27 tonnes of explosive material from Chennai to the port of Haifa in Israel.

India is largest buyer of Israeli arms, some of which are used in India and disputed Kashmir.

India over the last 10 years, has reportedly imported $2.9 billion of military equipment from Israel. The sales include missiles, combat drones, radars and other surveillance systems.

India and Israel normalised diplomatic relations in 1992 but Tel Aviv’s military exports to New Delhi date back to the 1960s.

Israeli weapons helped India in wars against China and Pakistan. Elbit Systems, one of Israel’s largest military companies, in 2018 agreed to collaborate with Indian conglomerate Adani Group to make Hermes 900 drones at a facility in India’s south.

Some of these drones have been dispatched by India to Israel in its ongoing war on Gaza.

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

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