Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spanish Foreign Minsister to meet with Hillary on Tuesday in D.C.

Well, I got some news about what's next on Hillary's agenda when she returns from her grand Asia tour. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Minister, is scheduled to meet with Hillary Clinton in Washington on Tuesday next week.

This was tipped off at the end of Janurary when Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said that he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had agreed to call each other by their first names as they work to improve bilateral ties.

"We agreed to call each other Miguel and Hillary to ease communication and will now seek a moment to have a first meeting. We will study our agendas." He told reporters after speaking with Hillary on the telephone.

"She demonstrated the desire to strengthen and intensify bilateral relations to the maximum," the minister said, adding their conversation was "short but extremely cordial and satisfactory."

Moratinos said Clinton expressed the desire to work with Spain on issues regarding the Middle East. Spain has traditionally enjoyed strong ties with Arab states. And interestingly enough, Moratinos is a former European Union envoy to the Middle East. The relationship between Madrid and Washington D.C under George W. Bush was reported as "frosty." In 2004 the Spanish Prime Minister withdrew troops from Iraq, which you can imagine didn't sit well with President Bush.

Under and Obama Administration, and through meeting and working with Secretary Clinton, the Minister has hope that there will be a more fruitful relationship between our two countries.Topics to be up for discussing for the upcoming meeting will be the situation in the Middle East, and a look ahead to the summit between Europe and the United States which is set for the first half of 2010. The United States also considers Spain can play an increased role in collaboration with Latin America.

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