Zapatero, Chirac, Schroedermeeting signals new policy

13th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2004 , MADRID - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Monday that his evening summit in Madrid with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder would signal a shift in Spain's foreign policy. While Zapatero's conservative predecessor Jose Maria Aznar emphasized a strong alliance with the United States, Zapatero told Cadena SER radio that his government would give priority to European construction. "This does not mean Spain will not have good relat

13 September 2004

MADRID - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Monday that his evening summit in Madrid with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder would signal a shift in Spain's foreign policy.

While Zapatero's conservative predecessor Jose Maria Aznar emphasized a strong alliance with the United States, Zapatero told Cadena SER radio that his government would give priority to European construction.

"This does not mean Spain will not have good relations with the United States, but everything must have its place," Zapatero said, adding that European partners had common interests such as the future European Constitution.

Spain would not, however, become "subordinate" to the two bigger E.U. countries, Zapatero said.

Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos earlier said Spain was not seeking to create an "axis" with France and Germany. "We don't like the term axis, but we like to be together with those who want to build Europe," he said.

Foreign affairs secretary of state Bernardino Leon denied claims by the opposition that Spain had apologized to the US for Zapatero's recent call on other countries to follow Spain's example in recalling their troops from Iraq.

Leon said Washington had requested a copy of Zapatero's statement, but had not expressed unease over it.

Zapatero has pledged to make Spain "more European than ever" and the first country to ratify the European Constitution in a spring referendum.

Zapatero, Chirac and Schroeder were expected to discuss the constitution, the EU stability pact, Turkey's possibilities of joining the union and Spain's attempts to preserve some of its EU subsidies in the enlarged union.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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