US embassy cable - 05MADRID983

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S MEETING WITH SPANISH FIRST VICE PRESIDENT DE LA VEGA AND FOREIGN MINISTER MORATINOS

Identifier: 05MADRID983
Wikileaks: View 05MADRID983 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Madrid
Created: 2005-03-15 09:37:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PGOV PTER CU SP VZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000983 
 
SIPDIS 
 
JUSTICE PASS TED ULLYOT AND BRUCE SWARTZ 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PTER, CU, SP, VZ 
SUBJECT: ATTORNEY GENERAL'S MEETING WITH SPANISH FIRST VICE 
PRESIDENT DE LA VEGA AND FOREIGN MINISTER MORATINOS 
 
 
1. Summary. During his visit to mark the one-year anniversary 
of the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid, Attorney General 
Gonzalez met with First Vice President Maria Teresa Fernandez 
de la Vega, together with 
Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos.  Spanish Minister of 
Justice Lopez Aguilar and MFA Director General for North 
American Affairs Jose Pons were also present on the Spanish 
side.  The Attorney General was joined by Charge Bob 
Manzanares, AG Chief of Staff Ted Ullyot, Deputy Assistant 
Attorney General Bruce Swartz and Embassy interpreter 
Virginia Ghent on the U.S. side.  VP De La Vega expressed 
deep gratitude for the AG's presence at the March 11 
commemoration. She asked him to convey to President Bush her 
government's desire for close, cooperative relations with the 
U.S.  She also noted that USG tended to address its messages 
directly to the Spanish people rather than 
"government-to-government."  End Summary. 
 
2. The AG conveyed to de la Vega U.S. sympathy and 
condolences on the anniversary of March 11.  He noted that 
despite an "interesting" year of U.S.-Spain relations, the 
U.S. was grateful for Spain's cooperation on issues such as 
counter-terrorism and law enforcement and Spain's support in 
Afghanistan, Haiti, and Iraq reconstruction.  He stated that 
though the two countries have a great deal in common in Latin 
America, the USG found the Spanish government's 
objectives regarding Cuba and Venezuela unclear. 
 
First Vice President de la Vega 
------------------------------- 
 
3. VP de la Vega welcomed the AG on behalf of the entire 
Spanish government and asked him to thank President Bush on 
behalf of the GOS for sending a high level delegation to the 
conference.  She stated that the AG's presence was an 
important gesture of solidarity in an area that unites us: 
terrorism, and stressed the importance of US-Spain ties as 
friends and allies. 
 
4. De la Vega characterized U.S.-Spain ties, as "magnificent, 
long-standing, strong, and (which) stretch across many 
areas."  She underscored the need, however, to work more 
closely on bilateral and multilateral issues.  De la Vega 
said Spain was "privileged" to host U.S. bases (note: she did 
not refer to the bases as Spanish joint-use bases or to the 
U.S. military presence at Spanish bases). 
 
5. De la Vega noted areas of strong U.S.-Spain cooperation on 
judicial matters, counter-terrorism, intelligence-sharing, 
and the recently signed bilateral protocol to the US-EU MLAT 
and extradition treaties.  She recalled her experience as a 
judge and as Deputy Justice Minister that made her well 
aware of the fact that the relations with the U.S. were close 
and essential.  She added that the GOS wants to 
continue intensifying relations. 
 
6. Regarding multilateral relations, she focused on Spain's 
efforts in Haiti, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Iraq 
reconstruction.  She said there were many other areas to 
explore during the desired visits to the U.S. by the 
Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Interior, Justice and 
Education.  The GOS wanted these visits to underscore its 
desire to improve relations between the U.S. and Spanish 
governments.  She noted that the U.S. government tends to 
address messages directly to the Spanish people, but that 
"government-to-government dialogue" needs to improve. 
 
7. VP de la Vega again stressed the Spanish government's 
desire for close cooperation with the U.S. and stressed our 
common challenge in the effort to combat terrorism. 
Regarding Latin America, she sought to reassure the AG that 
Spain is on the same wavelength as the U.S. on the subject of 
Cuba and Venezuela, and wants to work with the U.S. to 
promote 
democracy.  She said it was important that the two 
governments understand what each is doing in Latin America to 
avoid misunderstanding and develop our relations on the basis 
of mutual trust. 
 
8. Attorney General Gonzalez said he appreciated these 
comments and that trust is important.  He noted that the 
U.S. and Spain share a common tragedy and that he was here to 
help establish a good, strong working relationship 
between the two governments. 
 
Foreign Minister Moratinos 
-------------------------- 
 
9. Foreign Minister Moratinos, who participated in the 
meeting with the Vice President, said Spain wants to develop 
stronger bilateral relations with the U.S.  He stated that 
Spain has the same concerns as the U.S. regarding the major 
problems of the world and that Spain is a loyal and 
trustworthy ally in the Atlantic Alliance.  He believed 
that the December NATO summit talks with President Bush and 
Secretary of State Rice were good.  Moratinos emphasized 
 
SIPDIS 
that the U.S. and Spain have a long history of friendship. 
 
10. Moratinos said Spain can add value to what the European 
Union can bring to the table, particularly on Latin America 
and in the Middle East/North Africa.  Moratinos said that 
Spain has a tradition of close relations with the Middle 
East, and said that, like President Bush and the U.S. 
Government, Spain believes the Middle East should modernize, 
stabilize and move toward democratic reform.  He said Spain 
has influence in the region that could be helpful.  He said 
in his previous talks with Secretary of State Rice, he 
mentioned Spain's role, and will push the issue again when 
they meet in April. 
 
11. On Latin America, where, he noted, Spain and the U.S. are 
the only outside players, Spain also plays an important role. 
 Moratinos said it was critical for the U.S. and Spain to 
work together in this region.  He said he spoke to Secretary 
of State Rice in London about holding a meeting to develop an 
overall global strategy with the U.S. in Latin America. 
 
12. Moratinos said the losers in Latin America are the 
governments that are not consolidated and people living in 
countries that have experienced the rise of populist 
governments like Cuba and Venezuela, which are undemocratic. 
The U.S. and Spain have the same goals in Cuba and Venezuela: 
 to promote democracy and consolidate the path to democracy 
for these countries, although we vary on method.  Spain will 
always work with groups in these countries seeking to promote 
democracy and do so transparently.  Spain will support the 
opposition.  Spain will not support Castro or the populism of 
Chavez.  Moratinos said that the U.S. and Spanish governments 
need to talk more about Cuba and Venezuela, speak to each 
other directly on strategy and short-term goals, and act 
together toward the same objectives. 
 
13. AG responded that the U.S. welcomes transparency, as we 
are somewhat confused by Spain's actions in Cuba and 
Venezuela. 
 
14. At the close of the meeting, Vice President de la Vega 
specifically asked the Attorney General to convey to 
President Bush the Spanish government's firm commitment and 
strong desire to have more direct lines of communication to 
work together on common challenges on the basis of mutual 
trust and respect. 
MANZANARES 

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