GIBRALTAR’S Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia met with members of the US Congress in Washington DC as part of a pandemic-suspended UK programme.
Garcia updated Republican and Democrat members of the Congress in what was an annual visit under UK MECEA programme until COVID-19 struck.
The pandemic and its travel restrictions meant the Gibraltar Government’s previous visit to Washington was in 2019.
Garcia spent two and a half days in the US capital city.
He had meetings in the famous Capitol building itself as well as in other other Congressional offices.
“The objective of the visit is to improve the long and historic relationship between Gibraltar and the United States of America, through the UK,” the government said in a statement.
“This stretches back to 1801 when the US Navy carried out from Gibraltar its first ever operation overseas against Barbary pirates.”
This relationship continued through the two world wars when the US had thousands of troops and ships on the Rock.
General Eisenhower launched Operation Torch from deep inside the Rock at the height of the Second World War.
US Navy and Air Force craft continue to visit right up to this day.
Aside from the political meetings the deputy chief minister met with the American Battle Monuments Commission.
He wanted to discuss the future of the American War Memorial on Line Wall Road.
Built to mark the US Navy’s role in Gibraltar during World War I, it will be part of a ‘Walk the Wall’ project.
The visit follows a successful stay in Gibraltar’s sister city North Carolina capital Raleigh for local business and cultural professionals.