Parsley Island and the intervention of the United States
Gold, P. (2010) Parsley Island and the intervention of the United States. Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 8 (2). pp. 83-104. ISSN 1479-4012
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14794011003760244
On 11 July 2002 a dozen Moroccan armed police occupied Parsley Island, a rocky outcrop off the north Moroccan coast. Five days later Spanish armed forces intervened to ‘liberate’ the island and repatriated the Moroccans. On 20 July, following the intervention of US Secretary of State Colin Powell, the State Department drew up an agreement acceptable to both sides and Spain withdrew. This article examines why Morocco occupied the island, why Spain used force in reply and why the US became involved. As with many territorial disputes, the occupation and the responses to it were symptomatic of more deep-seated grievances between the disputants, while the involvement of the Bush administration was inspired by its own self-interest in the aftermath of 9/11.
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