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Cablegate: Scenesetter for Wha a/S Valenzuela's January 31

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMD #0087/01 0271231
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 271231Z JAN 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1766
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 0014
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA PRIORITY 1453
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JAN 0003
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 0008
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE PRIORITY 0001
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA PRIORITY 0229
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA PRIORITY 0304
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 000087

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR JUAN GONZALEZ, WHA
BILL MCILHENNY, WHA/PPC
ALEXANDRA MCKNIGHT AND STACIE ZERDECKI, EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/26/2020
TAGS: PREL PGOV SP
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR WHA A/S VALENZUELA'S JANUARY 31
FEBRUARY 3 VISIT TO SPAIN
<
REF: A. 2009 MADRID 59
B. SANTO DOMINGO 21
C. 2009 MADRID 1146
D. 2009 HAVANA 683

Classified By: DCM Arnold A. Chacon, for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).
XXXXXXXXXXXX
//Bilateral Relations//

5. (U) Spain is an important friend and ally of the U.S. We
especially value Spanish cooperation on security issues and
in the fights against terrorism and narcotics. It would be
worth discussing increased cooperation against Latin American narcotics traffickers. Spain is the principal point of entry for South American cocaine coming to Europe and has a serious domestic drug consumption problem. Spain is also a strong bilateral defense partner, and operates a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan with about 1,000 troops participating in ISAF. Zapatero was criticized for his poor relations with the USG during the Bush Administration (a result of his Iraq pullout). His enthusiasm for President Obama and his desire for closer bilateral relations have resulted in GOS willingness to send 511 more troops to Afghanistan, pending legislative approval, and to take 5 Guantanamo detainees. In both cases, he has faced public criticism that he has subordinated Spain's interest to President Obama's. Spain also allows us the use of two military bases, Rota and Moron, that are crucial transit points between the U.S. and Afghanistan and Iraq. Counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation is strong,
and business ties are increasing.

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SOLOMONT

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