Zapatero hosts Euro summit with France, Germany

13th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 September 2004, MADRID - The Spanish prime minister was hosting summit talks in Madrid with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Monday.

13 September 2004

MADRID - The Spanish prime minister was hosting summit talks in Madrid with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Monday.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero changed Spain's foreign policy dramatically after his March election win, following the Madrid bombings which killed 191 people.

Like Germany and France, Zapatero opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq.

He withdrew all Spanish troops from Iraq soon after taking office.

The Madrid talks are expected to focus on the European Union constitution and fighting international terrorism.

Zapatero wants to strengthen key European friendships - in stark contrast to his predecessor, Jose Maria Aznar, who was an outspoken supporter of the Iraq war and gave top priority to improving relations with the United States.

Zapatero said the visit to Madrid by two major European powers, France and Germany,  is a sign that Spain has returned to "the heart of Europe".

He said Europe must soon follow a common defence, foreign and security policy.

Public opinion polls show the idea is popular amongst most Spaniards.

Zapatero hopes Spain will set an example by being one of the first European Union countries to ratify the constitution after holding a referendum.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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