Isla Perejil in 2002: A Controversial Territory Dispute

In 2002, Isla Perejil, also known as Parsley Island, became the center of a territorial dispute between Spain and Morocco. This uninhabited islet, located in the Strait of Gibraltar, captured international attention due to tensions over its sovereignty.

Background of the Dispute

Isla Perejil, a small rocky island measuring about 200 meters in diameter, had been under Spanish control for decades. However, in July 2002, a group of Moroccan soldiers occupied the island, claiming it as Moroccan territory. This sudden move escalated tensions between Spain and Morocco, sparking a diplomatic crisis over the ownership of the islet.

Diplomatic Negotiations and International Response

The occupation of Isla Perejil led to diplomatic negotiations between Spain and Morocco, as both countries sought to resolve the dispute peacefully. The international community closely monitored the situation, urging dialogue and de-escalation to avoid further conflict in the region.

Resolution of the Crisis

After several days of diplomatic efforts and negotiations facilitated by the United States and the European Union, Spain and Morocco reached a resolution. In September 2002, Moroccan troops withdrew from Isla Perejil, restoring the status quo ante and easing tensions between the two countries.

Legacy and Significance

The Isla Perejil crisis of 2002 highlighted the complexities of territorial disputes and international relations in the Mediterranean region. While the occupation was brief and non-violent, it underscored the importance of diplomatic channels in resolving disputes and maintaining stability in sensitive geopolitical areas.


In 2002, Isla Perejil emerged as a focal point of international attention due to a territorial dispute between Spain and Morocco. The crisis, although short-lived, demonstrated the challenges of managing sovereignty claims and navigating diplomatic solutions in contested territories. Isla Perejil’s significance in 2002 serves as a reminder of the complexities inherent in international relations and the importance of dialogue and negotiation in resolving disputes peacefully.


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