10 March 2005
WASHINGTON-US President George W Bush sent a message of condolences to the Spanish people on the eve of the anniversary of the country's worst terrorist attacks.
But Bush sent the message to the Spanish media, apparently bypassing the Spanish Socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Bush and Zapatero have not enjoyed the best of relations since the Spanish premier withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq last year a month after being elected in a shock victory on 14 March.
Despite a brief meeting in Brussels earlier this month, the two leaders have not spoken since Zapatero became prime minister.
Bush failed to return Zapatero's call of congratulations after securing a second term victory in November.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it did not know anything about Bush's message.
In his statement, Bush said: "On 11 March we remember the lives lost a year ago in Madrid.
"The world is united in our determination to beat global terrorism.
"We share a common belief in those values of liberty and in the sanctity of life. We continue fighting against terrorism and working for liberty so that the world is a more peaceful place."
Bush added: "Terrorists hate and want to attack any country in the world which defends democracy, tolerance and liberty. They kill innocents without compassion.
"To all those who lost a loved one on 11 March, this has been a year of sadness and pain.
"From all Americans, I send a message of compassion and solidarity on this solemn day. God bless the people of Spain and the souls of the absent."
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news
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