Spain expects to improve bilateral relations with US

6th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Spain’s Prime Minister says Obama’s victory will pave the way for improved relations with the United States.

6 November 2008

MADRID - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Wednesday hailed the victory of US president-elect Barack Obama as opening the way for "more positive" bilateral relations.

Madrid would be a "friend and faithful ally" of Washington, said the Socialist prime minister, whose decision to recall Spanish troops from Iraq led to a cooling of relations with the administration of outgoing President George W Bush in 2004.

Spain and the United States could work together in areas where Spain had useful experience, such as Latin America, the Middle East, the Muslim world and Africa, Zapatero explained.

Obama's triumph opened "a road of hope and trust for the world in moments of difficulty and uncertainty," the prime minister said in his congratulating telegram to the new US president.

Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos expressed trust that Obama would soon receive Zapatero, in contrast with Bush, who did not meet bilaterally with the Spanish premier.

Zapatero's conservative predecessor Jose Maria Aznar was one of the staunchest US allies in the Iraq conflict, but Zapatero withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq immediately after his election victory in March 2004.

Parliament president Jose Bono stressed the importance of the end of the "Bush era".

"Even before I knew the (election) result, I said that anything is better than Bush," Bono, a Socialist, quipped.

[dpa / Expatica]

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