Madrid denies military snub to Washington

5th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

5 October 2004, MADRID- French troops will replace US marines at this year's national day parade in Spain on 12 October, Defence Minister Jose Bono said on Tuesday.

5 October 2004

MADRID- French troops will replace US marines at this year's national day parade in Spain on 12 October, Defence Minister Jose Bono said on Tuesday.

According to Bono, the invitation to the French marks 60 years since the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation and pays "homage to the Spaniards" who were also involved in that momentous event at the end of World War II.

French General Leclerc's forces which entered Paris on the evening of 24 August 1944, contained some Republican veterans from the Spanish Civil War.

Bono told reporters the decision to invite the French in no way constituted a change to relations founded on "friendship and respect" which Spain enjoyed with the United States

But in a dig at the conservative government which lost power at the polls in March after strongly backing the US-led intervention in Iraq - a hugely unpopular policy - Bono said the new Socialist administration wanted to "show its sovereignty".

As such, he vowed it would not indulge in "subordination" or "fall to its knees" before another country -- a clear allusion to the new government's view that the government it replaced was in thrall to Washington over Iraq.

For the past two years US troops have marched in Spain's national parade in a mark of respect for the victims of the 11 September attacks in the United States.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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