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Cablegate: Spain: Ambassador Makes Farewell Call On Foreign

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 004367

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/WE AND WHA/AND
NSC FOR FRIED AND VOLKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN: AMBASSADOR MAKES FAREWELL CALL ON FOREIGN
MINISTER

Classified By: Ambassador George L. Argyros, reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (C) Ambassador met with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel
Angel Moratinos November 10 at the Foreign Ministry for a
farewell call. Ambassador began by saying it was time to get
the U.S.-Spain relationship moving forward. Moratinos agreed
and said Spain and the U.S. needed to start working on a
positive agenda. Moratinos said Spain could be helpful in
many areas -- Spain has credibility in the Middle East and
Latin America, for example. Moratinos stated Zapatero wanted
to work with President Bush to move relations forward and
noted that the fact that President Bush had not returned
Zapatero's congratulatory phone call was not playing well in
the media. "We need to improve relations and a return call
would be a good gesture on the U.S.'s part," said Moratinos.

2. (C) Moratinos also stated the Zapatero government wants
to build on the good relations the Aznar administration
established, not tear them down. Moratinos added, "In this
Ministry, you know we are not always consulted on certain
actions taken by others," likely referring to recent negative
comments about the U.S. by Minister of Defense Jose Bono.

3. (C) Moratinos said he is committed to working hard on our
bilateral relations, and suggested some topics that could be
brought to the forefront as visible examples of cooperation
between our two countries. Fore example, Spain and the U.S.
could renew the Joint Declaration on Defense Relations signed
by Foreign Minister Pique and Secretary Albright in January
2001. Another idea was to celebrate the 10-year anniversary
of the Transatlantic Agenda between the U.S, and the EU,
which was originally a Spanish idea.

4. (C) Moratinos offered Spain's help in the Middle East.
He said he knows all of the Palestinian leadership. In
particular, he knows Abu Mazen well, and if Mazen is elected
Palestinian president, Moratinos offered to serve as an
intermediary if the U.S. wished. On his recent visit to
Syria, Moratinos said the sole reason he went to Syria was to
ask the Syrians to "behave" with regards to the Palestinians.
More generally, Moratinos noted that the country with the
most experience in the Middle East, Spain, was not invited to
participate in the Forum for the Future to be held in Morocco
in December. He understood why Spain could not attend as
part of the G-8, but said perhaps Spain could go as guests of
the Moroccan government. Spain has excellent relations with
Morocco and with November 2005 being the 10-year anniversary
of the Barcelona Process, it may be appropriate for Spain to
be part of this group. However, Moratinos quickly added that
they would accept a Moroccan invitation only if the U.S. had
no objection.

5. (C) Ambassador Argyros suggested Spain make a strong
gesture to show its support for the return of democracy to
Iraq. This would not require returning Spanish troops to
Iraq but perhaps the GOS could train a large contingent of
Iraqi police officers in Spain and publicize it widely.

6. (C) On Latin America, Moratinos noted that Venezuela's
Chavez would be visiting Spain November 22-23. Moratinos
asked if the U.S. wanted to convey a message to Chavez.
Ambassador asked Moratinos to raise the increasing drug
trafficking problem in Venezuela -- more and more shipments
bound for Europe and the U.S. appear to be departing from
Venezuela. Moratinos welcomed a non-paper if we wanted to
submit one.

7. (C) With respect to Afghanistan, Ambassador noted we had
heard the Spanish ambassador to NATO has raised the
possibility that Spain would be willing to staff a Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan. Moratinos was
aware of the idea but said no decision had been made yet. He
noted it was not "totally unrealistic" Spain would
participate in a PRT.

8. (C) The meeting ended with Moratinos informing the
Ambassador he would be traveling to the U.S. early in 2005 to
do "outreach work" with think tanks and government officials,
and hoped to get an assessment of how Spain is thought about
in the U.S.

ARGYROS

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