Condolezza Rice ‘to visit Madrid’, says minister
26 January 2007
PARIS – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would like to make an official visit to Madrid in March, the Spanish foreign minister said.
Miguel Angel Moratinos met Rice in Paris on Thursday at an international conference on economic aid to Lebanon and the U.S.secretary mentioned the date for the prospective visit, which until now had not been specified.
“She wants to come in March. If there was a delay in the visit it was for scheduling reasons,” Moratinos told reporters.
But he rejected the suggestion that the trip meant that the two countries had only now overcome their differences on Iraq and contending that any such differences that once existed had already been resolved long ago.
The two nations have had a frosty relationship since Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq following the socialist election victory in 2004.
In their meeting, Rice and Moratinos analyzed the state of bilateral relations, which the Spanish minister said were on a “good plane”.
Cooperation in the fight against terrorism, collaboration in the military sphere and economic and financial links were also discussed at the meeting.
In the international realm, Rice asked Moratinos to tell her about the upcoming contacts between Spanish authorities and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who will arrive in Madrid on Friday.
Rice and the Spanish foreign minister sat beside one another during the conference since their two countries fall close to one another alphabetically – in French – and thus the two officials had the chance to chat.
The gathering in the French capital was aimed at drumming up support for Lebanese efforts to recover from last summer’s conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news