Row over Aznar meeting with Bush

10th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 November 2004, MADRID – A political row broke out over former Spanish prime minister's Jose Maria Aznar's meeting with US President George W Bush.

10 November 2004

MADRID – A political row broke out over former Spanish prime minister's Jose Maria Aznar's meeting with US President George W Bush.

Aznar met Bush at the White House for half an hour on Tuesday, US officials told EFE news agency.

Aznar, a conservative in office 1996-2004 and a staunch ally in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, congratulated the U.S. president for winning a second term on 2 November..

The meeting was motivated by the "great friendship" which unites Bush and Aznar, the sources said.

But the Socialist government said on Wednesday Aznar had not informed the Moncloa palace, which is the Spanish seat of government, of his meeting with Bush.

Political sources also said Aznar had not told the Spanish embassy in Washington.

Socialist party sources said this was in marked contrast to when present prime minister Jose Lluis Rodriguez Zapatero visited Morocco in 2001 while head of the opposition.

At that time, Zapatero informed the Spanish government "as a matter of respect".

Aznar did not run for re-election in the Spanish general elections last March, but his conservative party was ousted by the Socialists.

Zapatero pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq shortly after taking office in April.

According to U.S. officials, Bush and Aznar worked in close collaboration with one another during the latter's government, and the U.S. president "is not going to stop seeing him just because he's not in power any more."

Aznar's visit to the White House comes a day before he embarks on his second round of lectures at Georgetown University, where he made his debut as associate professor on 21 September.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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