Friday, April 16, 2021

President Obama and Spanish King Felipe VI affirm strong bilateral relations

United States President Barack Obama and Spanish King Felipe VI on Sunday highlighted the close relationship between their two countries during Obama’s first official visit to Spain.

The two made statements to the press in the Royal Palace in Madrid before meeting with Foreign Minister José Manuel García Margallo.

After thanking Obama for his visit, the King said Spain is “firmly committed to always maintain the closest cooperation with the US, a country that is our friend and plays a decisive role around the globe.”

Obama said Spain and the US are “two countries that share values and ideals of freedom, rule of law, and respect for the dignity of all people,” which is why they cooperate “across a spectrum of global issues.”

He also thanked Spain for welcoming him even though he had to cut his visit short due to the “difficult week” that the US had.

After meeting with the King, Obama visited the US embassy in Madrid, where he spoke to American diplomats.

He will also be meeting with the Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy, and the leaders of the main opposition parties.

The last stage of his visit will be an American naval base in Cadiz, in the South of Spain, where he will speak to the 3000 troops posted there.

Obama was originally scheduled to visit Seville but after the Dallas shooting and the killing of several unarmed black men, he decided he should return to the US sooner than planned.

The President arrived on Saturday after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Warsaw concluded and is set to leave on Sunday evening.

It is the first official visit to Spain by a US President in 15 years.