President Obama Emphasizes US-Spain Relations during Europe’s Visit

Time: 5:58 p.m. CEST Update: 7:34 p.m. CEST

After the speech to the American and Spanish service members at the Naval Station Rota in Spanish south, President Barack Obama and the  White House delegation end the official visit to Europe, which included two-days NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland and official visit to Spain. Here is the preview of the President visit to Spain, where he greeted enduring American-Spanish relations.

President Barack Obama addresses the troops at the Naval Station Rota in Spanish south on Sunday afternoon during the official visit to Spain.

As Obama said, for more than 60 years, “Spain has hosted Americans here at Rota. Today, this base is home to more than 3,000 Americans, and it is a homeport for American destroyers, to strengthen our alliance new missile defense, as I just saw during my visit to USS Ross.”

Addressing the American military personnel serving in the U.S. base in Spain, Obama said, Americans and Spaniards serve together, “shoulder to shoulder,” not only here, but in missions for the common security, in missions to destroy ISIL, combating piracy, peacekeeping, humanitarian efforts, that is because we believe that people around the world and here in Europe, “have a right to live in peace, security, prosperity and dignity.”

Closing the official visit to Europe, Obama once more strongly committed the U.S. relation to Europe and to the Spain, as central to “our security.”

“On my visit to Europe, what I have tried to communicate, wanting to focus on is America’s relation to Europe, and the fact that our commitment will not change,” Obama reassured again. Peaceful and secure Europe, especially after a vote of the United Kingdom to leave European Union, includes “strong and unified Spain.” Obama referred to Spain as one of our closest allies, “rooted in shared values,” democracy, pluralism, open markets and our shared commitment to freedom.

Obama tours USS Ross, which is one of the four guided-missile destroyers based in Spain. Obama and the U.S. delegation arrived in Spain late Saturday after the end of the NATO summit.

CBS News reports, the White House said, the visit will highlight security cooperation between trans-Atlantic allies, but will point out political and economic ties. This is first official visit of Obama to Spain, which happens more than seven years since he took the office.

Spanish King Felipe VI welcomed the President Obama, who explained the “difficult week,” for him and the United States. King Felipe who receives the President Obama and the U.S. delegation, at the Royal Palace in Madrid, which is one of the popular cultural and historic sites.

CBS News says, the king thanked Obama for visiting Spain considering the situation in the United States. Obama met with acting Prime minister Mariano Rajoy. In an interview with the Spanish El Pais newspaper, Obama expressed the hope Spain’s next government will be “just as committed to strong relations with the U.S. and Europe.”

Obama said the world needs Spain’s contributions to the campaign against the Islamic State group, to counterrorism efforts that prevent attacks and to its fellow NATO members. Spain was among the first countries in Europe that faced attacks long before Obama was in office, when a bomb hit the Madrid central train station. Obama addressed the long-lasting relationships between Spaniards and Americans.

“We are connected by the tied of family and culture, including millions of Americans who celebrate their Hispanic heritage. Spain is strong NATO ally, we are grateful for Spain’s many decades of hosting U.S. forces, and we are major trading partners.” Obama said the U.S. is deeply committed to maintaining “our relationship with a strong, unified Spain,” Obama said. Basque secessionists and Catalans are pushing for independence from the central government.

Obama stays in Spain until the Sunday night, after the White House curbed the official schedule because of the events in the U.S. after the deaths of two African Americans and five police officers. Since Friday in several states in the U.S. protesters and activists protest the recent developments. Obama addressed the persistent issues in more than one occasions during the NATO summit on Friday and Saturday.


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