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Zapatero: Latin America is our priority

Published on 25/05/2004

25 May 2004

MADRID – Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Tuesday relations with Latin America were his his priority in foreign relations.

The Spanish leader plans to travel Wednesday to Mexico on his first official visit to Latin America.

Zapatero is set to meet Mexican President Vicente Fox and attend the EU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit, where he will hold talks with several heads of state.

The main purpose of Zapatero’s trip is to emphasise the historical priority that Latin America holds for Spain, not only from an economic perspective, but also politically and socially, Spanish officials said.

The Spanish leader intends to make Spain’s “own voice” heard, without being the “messenger, runner or intermediary” for other countries, like the United States.

In an interview with Mexico’s Televisa network, Zapatero said: “The times of looking only to the northern half of the Americas are over.”

He added: “Latin America should be our biggest priority.”

Madrid will speak directly to Mexico City, Zapatero said, adding that he was inclined to think that both countries shared the same vision on the international situation.

“Mexico and Spain should be the two engines, the two great allies, so that the Latin American world can enjoy great power, great economic development and great political cooperation,” Zapatero said.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news