US relations warm as Rice plans first trip to Madrid
20 June 2006, WASHINGTON — US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice will visit Spain sometime during 2006 in what will be the first visit since she took office over a year ago.
20 June 2006
WASHINGTON — US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice will visit Spain sometime during 2006 in what will be the first visit since she took office over a year ago.
Rice confirmed the trip in a brief press conference after a meeting in the State Department with Spain's foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, at which they discussed, among other topics, the Middle East, Latin America and the new Iraqi government.
Rice said: "There's no secret we had our disagreements in the past.
"But I am impressed with the degree to which the foreign minister came prepared to talk about the future agenda, including how to support the democratically elected government of Iraq."
Both Rice and Moratinos said they discussed subjects of bilateral importance such as terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan - where Spain has troops deployed - Africa and Latin America.
In Latin America, both the US and Spain want to have a complementary role.
Moratinos said: "We want progress and democracy to be absolutely established and consolidated in this important part of the world."
He added that the meeting had highlighted the two countries' good relations and their desire to work together.
Moratinos' visit to Washington is his second since a socialist government came to power in Spain in March, 2004.
The Bush administration was angered by Madrid's decision to immediately withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq after coming to power.
The previous conservative administration had sent troops to the Arab nation following the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation.
[ Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news