Blair backs Zapatero's 'alliance of civilisations'

27th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 July 2005, MADRID – Spain's president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero visited London on Wednesday to talk with Tony Blair and the city's mayor Ken Livingstone.

27 July 2005

MADRID – Spain's president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero visited London on Wednesday to talk with Tony Blair and the city's mayor Ken Livingstone.

Zapatero flew to Northolt military base in England on board a Spanish air force plane and then went straight to Downing Street for a meeting with the British prime minister.

The meeting between the two leaders is the second since Zapatero came to power and was planned before the terrorist attacks on London on 7 July. It comes the same day that police arrest four people in Birmingham who are suspected to have been involved in the attacks of 21 July.

Terrorism was one of the main subjects on the agenda, with Zapatero asking Blair to make tackling terrorism through the EU a priority during Britain's six-month leadership of the union.

At a press conference afterwards, Blair announced he backed Zapatero's policy unveiled at the UN in September 2004 for an "alliance of civilisations". Blair said the idea of uniting Muslim and non-Muslim countries to "combat the barbarism of terrorism" was a good one.

The pair also agreed on the importance of addressing the radicalisation of young Muslims by a "perverted idea of Islam" and to exchange data between Spain and the UK.

The two men also discussed the situation over the troubled European constitution and the agreement which has to be reached soon over EU funding for 2007-2013.

Later on in the day, Zapatero was due to head to one of the improvised memorial sites which have been created for the victims of July 7 before meeting Livingstone to pass on a message of solidarity from Spain to the UK. Zapatero was also expected to sign in the book of condolences.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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