Zapatero gets no more than a brief hello from Bush

13th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2005, NEW YORK — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero finally gets a brief meeting with US president George W Bush.

13 September 2005

NEW YORK — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero finally gets a brief meeting with US president George W Bush.

The two met at a reception in New York after months of diplomatic game-playing.

Bush said a warm hello to the Spanish king and queen who were accompanying Zapatero to the UN Assembly General in New York.

But the US president spared Zapatero a moment to say hello.

Bush is hosting a reception for leaders on the eve of the United Nations Assembly General meeting.

Diplomatic sources said no meeting had been planned between Zapatero and Bush.

The two met for 15 minutes at meeting in Moscow in May when Bush toured Europe.

In the past few weeks both leaders have exchanged messages of condolence, firstly after 17 Spanish troops were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in August and then after Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans.

Diplomatic sources had suggested this time Zapatero and Bush may find time to "exchange points of view".

Relations between both countries were cold until recently after Bush shunned Zapatero for withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq last year. 

In a series of diplomatic incidents, the former US ambassador did not attend the Spanish national day celebrations and instead went hunting.

Bush also refused to take a congratulations call from Zapatero after winning the US election.

Weeks later, he held a reception for former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar at the White House. The two were close allies with Aznar aligning Spain with the US over Iraq.

Zapatero is in New York along with King Juan Carlos as part of a high-level delegation associated with the 'alliance of civilizations'.

He is to meet UN general secretary Kofi Annan, Afgan pres¡dent Hamid Karzai, the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and most Ibero-American president before the Ibero-American conference in Spain next month.

Zapatero is to explain his idea for an 'Alliance of Civilizations' before the prestigious  Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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