Spanish king cuts short French state visit after crash

24th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Spanish King Felipe VI cut short his first state visit to France on Tuesday after 150 people died in a Germanwings airliner crash in the French Alps after departing from Barcelona.

"We decided to cancel this trip" after discussions between French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the king said on the steps of the French presidential palace.

The cancellation came just moments after the visit had officially begun.

"We know the number of victims is extremely high -- a large number of Spaniards, Germans, but also Turks," the king said, confirming that no survivors had yet been found.

France had rolled out the red carpet for Felipe VI, who had just arrived in Paris for his first ever state visit since assuming the throne last year.

Accompanied by his wife Letizia, a 41-year-old former journalist, he was welcomed earlier in the day with a special ceremony at the Invalides military museum and was due to address the French parliament later in his visit.

Felipe, 46, took over the throne from his father, Juan Carlos, who abdicated in June.

He was also due to inaugurate a major exhibition of the work of Spanish artist Diego Velasquez at the Grand Palais on Tuesday before attending a state dinner at the Elysee Palace.

© 2015 AFP

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