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Cablegate: Tfus 01: Ambassador Meets with Fm Moratinos

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

UNCLAS MADRID 003149

SIPDIS

E.O. 12950: N/A
TAGS: AEMR EAID PREL US SP
SUBJECT: TFUS 01: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH FM MORATINOS
REGARDING SPANISH ASSISTANCE FOLLOWING HURRICANE KATRINA

REFERENCE: State 163366

1. Summary: In a September 5 meeting with the Ambassador,
Spanish FM Moratinos made clear Spain's desire to assist the
United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. After
working through the reftel list of requested items, Spain is
assembling materiel and has made two Spanish Hercules
transports available for lift. We are currently waiting for
confirmation of landing slots at Little Rock AFB for the
Spanish aircraft and assistance. End Summary.

2. The Ambassador met with Minister Moratinos September 5
and began by thanking the Foreign Minister for the Spanish
expressions of condolences and for Spain's offer of support.
The Ambassador noted President Zapatero had informed him of
the decision by the Spanish Government to authorize the use
of Spanish Oil reserves (approximately 65,000 gals/day) to
be released for use by the United States and that the
Spanish were disposed to provide more assistance. The
Ambassador told Moratinos this was appreciated immensely and
was indicative of how good friends and allies respond to
each other in their hour of need. Moratinos reported that
he had had good conversations with Secretary Rice as well
and that he had sent her a letter thanking her for the
excellent and extraordinary efforts made by all to get the
Spanish Parliamentarian and her family who were in the New
Orleans Convention center out and safely into the hands of
the Spanish Consul in Houston.

3. Ambassador thanked FM Moratinos for making Spanish oil
reserves available and also presented the list of items
provided reftel. This message had been reviewed with the
Deputy Foreign Minister on Sunday so the Foreign Minister
was prepared to discuss. The Minister advised the
Ambassador the Foreign Ministry was working with different
Spanish agencies (Ministries of Defense and Interior, the
Spanish development agency AECI, and the Ministry of Health)
as well as with various Autonomous Regions to develop a list
of what could be made available quickly.

4. At the conclusion of the meeting the Minister and the
Ambassador held a press conference where the Foreign
Minister restated Spanish condolences and offers of support.
He indicated the Ambassador had presented a list of needs
that the Spanish were reviewing and that the Spanish would
be as helpful and supportive as possible to help the U.S.
people. The Ambassador restated his thanks and appreciation
to the Spanish Government and again asked Spanish citizens
inclined to help to do so with money via Red Cross or
Salvation Army.

5. In the evening of September 5, the DCM and Econ
Counselor met with a coordinating group from the Spanish
Government, including representatives from AECI (Spanish
development agency), the Ministers of Defense, Foreign
Affairs, Interior, and Health, and the Presidency. Each
group present reviewed the USG list of needed items and
discussed possibilities for rapid assistance. The Spanish
are already participating in the NATO and EU responses to
Hurricane Katrina. The clear focus from the Presidency and
MFA, however, was that the window for assistance was narrow
and Spain wants to be seen as providing bilateral
assistance. They pushed Defense hard to make Spanish flag
Hercules transports available and pushed the Ministry of
Health representatives to come up with basic health
supplies. The Spanish POC, Pablo Muelas Garcia, from AECI,
promised an answer by the morning of September 6.

6. Early on September 6, the Spanish MOD informed the
embassy that two Spanish Hercules transports were available
to fly to the United States departing the evening of
September 6. The MOD representative did not yet have a
manifest of assistance, but reported that it would include
basic medical supplies and MREs. He requested contact
points in the United States. EconOff contacted Little Rock
AFB/OFDA (POC: Romero Galvez - 703-526-2210) to discuss the
GOS offer. Galvez confirmed that Little Rock was the
only/only base that should receive such assistance (for
logistical reasons) and that it was already fully booked for
September 6. He asked me to ask the Spanish Government to
delay for 24 hours and that Little Rock AFB should be able
to receive the two Hercules tomorrow. Galvez promised to e-
mail EconOff with the requested contact information and time
slot information. EconOff then called the Spanish MOD POC
and relayed the above information. EconOff then passed the
information to Eduardo Martinez in TF1.

7. Embassy will report Spanish plans as soon as we confirm
landing slots in Little Rock.
AGUIRRE

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