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Spain, US to reinforce responses to transatlantic challenges

Spanish Prime Minister meets with US President at Moncloa Palace in Madrid
Spanish Prime Minister meets with US President at Moncloa Palace in Madrid
MADRID, June 28 (KUNA) -- Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez Perez Castejon and visiting US President Joseph R. Biden affirmed that their bilateral relationship "is based on deep historical ties, shared democratic values, and a common vision for addressing global challenges." "Spain and the United States are committed to upholding peace and security, protecting the planet's climate for future generations, promoting democracy and human rights, and enhancing economic prosperity around the world," said a joint statement released after the leaders' meeting at Moncloa Palace in Madrid on Tuesday.
The leaders reached understandings to reinforce the "multilateral responses to transatlantic and global challenges;" strengthen defense cooperation; defend democracy, human rights, and gender equality; intensify collaboration on justice and security issues; promote safe, orderly, and regular migration; and fight climate change and increasing energy security.
In addition, they both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the political, economic, and scientific areas.
On the conflict in Ukraine, Spain and the United States condemned "Russia's unjustified and unprovoked war of choice against Ukraine, which has fundamentally altered the global strategic environment." "This aggression constitutes the most direct threat to transatlantic security and global stability since the end of the Cold War.
"Russia's actions also threaten the food security of some of the most vulnerable people around the world," the statement reads.
"Spain and the United States intend to continue working together, along and with other partners and allies, including the rest of the EU and the G7, to support the government and the people of Ukraine and to hold Russia accountable for its violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including gross violations of international law by targeting civilians with violence, and conflict-related sexual violence.
"Spain and the United States also reiterate their strong support for Ukraine's determination to choose its own future," it noted.
On defense cooperation, the statement said, "The United States and Spain recognize the central importance of the NATO Alliance in ensuring transatlantic peace and security.
"As NATO Allies for 40 years, Spain and the United States are steadfastly committed to providing NATO with ready forces and capabilities, strengthening their transatlantic ties, and ensuring a 360-degree approach to security, particularly by enhancing the relationship with mutual partners, such as the European Union.
"The Madrid Summit hosted by Spain will ensure that NATO is united behind a new Strategic Concept guiding the Alliance's approach towards strategic competitors and transnational threats, and that NATO's military and political activities are resourced to address a more dangerous security environment," it noted.
Both sides underlined "their commitment to the U.S.-Spain Agreement on Defense Cooperation signed in 1988, which, together with the shared use of Spain's bases in Rota and Moron, is an essential piece of the bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries.
"Spain and the United States intend to expand their defense cooperation through the permanent stationing of additional U.S. naval vessels in Rota.
"The two countries intend to hold regular meetings within the framework of the bilateral High-Level Defense Group to strengthen defense cooperation," the statement went on.
Both sides agreed to increase from four to six the number of the Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers deployed at the US Naval Station Rota in southeast Spain.
The number of US personnel manning the station will also increase from 1,200 to 1,800.
Biden arrived in Spain earlier today on his first visit to the kingdom since he took office as president in 2022; he will conclude the trip on Thursday, June 30. (end) hnd.gb