Spain and US join forces against terrorism
19 April 2005, WASHINGTON- The United States and Spain opened a 'new phase' in their cooperative fight against terror and organized crime, Spain's visiting interior minister claimed.
19 April 2005
WASHINGTON- The United States and Spain opened a 'new phase' in their cooperative fight against terror and organized crime, Spain's visiting interior minister claimed.
Jose Antonio Alonso met with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and FBI chief Robert Mueller.
Relations between Washington and Madrid have been cool since Spain's Socialist Party swept into power in March 2004.
Incoming Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero then honoured a campaign promise and withdrew Spanish troops from the US-led military force in Iraq.
The troops had been sent by the previous, conservative Spanish government, a close ally of US President George W Bush.
The meetings "inaugurate a new phase in which relations for something so important as the fight against terrorism and organized crime will be deepened and substantially improved," Alonso told reporters.
"The level of relations is very good and will continue to improve in the future, no doubt about it," said Alonso, who held a 20-minute closed-door meeting with Gonzales before having lunch with him.
Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos met last Friday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with the goal of improving relations, especially when it came to differences over relations with Venezuela and Cuba.
Spain's ministers of defence and of justice are scheduled to travel to the United States in early May.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news