Viewing cable 04MADRID4367, SPAIN: AMBASSADOR MAKES FAREWELL CALL ON FOREIGN
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|04MADRID4367||2004-11-15 15:03||2010-12-07 12:12||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Madrid|
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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