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Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula and Europe at the entrance of the Mediterranean overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. The territory covers 6.843 square kilometres (2.642 sq mi) and shares a land border with Spain to the north. Gibraltar has historically been an important base for the British Armed Forces and is the site of a Royal Navy base.
According to the Jane's Country Risk Ratings 2008, which measures the stability of 235 countries, territories and political entities in the world, Gibraltar is the 5th most stable territory worldwide, and the highest ranked British territory. The ratings are based on five fundamental categories: political, social, economic, external and military and security. Gibraltar has almost complete internal self-government, the Governor retaining responsibilities for external affairs, defence, internal security and the public service.
The sovereignty of Gibraltar has been a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations. Gibraltar was ceded by Spain to the Crown of Great Britain in perpetuity, under the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, though Spain asserts a claim to the territory and seeks its return. In a referendum held in 2002, Gibraltarians rejected by an overwhelming majority (99%) a proposal of shared sovereignty on which Spain and Britain were said to have reached "broad agreement". The British government has committed itself to respecting the Gibraltarians' wishes.