Spanish FM Highlights Importance of Normal Ties with Cuba

Spanish FM Highlights Importance of Normal Ties with Cuba Madrid, Jan 5 .- Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Garcia-Margallo said on Friday that there cannot be a policy in Latin America without normal relations with Cuba.

Asked about his government's stance on Cuba after Havana and Washington agreed to resume diplomatic relations, Garcia-Margallo assured that Spain's position will always be that of looking for normalization of bilateral relations.

There cannot be a policy in Latin America without that condition, he noted in an interview with the newspaper El Pais. He assured that visited Cuba in late 2014 because he was aware that there would be a thawing-out with the United States.

Contrary to Spanish public opinion's criteria and that of El Pais, which criticized the European Union (EU) for lagging behind in its approach to Cuba, the Spanish minister pointed out that it was just the opposite.

In November 2012, he said, the EU Council approved a mandate to negotiate with Cuba thanks to Spain's initiative.

In the interview, granted in Egypt, Garcia-Margallo stressed that his country thinks that the spreading of the Islamic State (IS) throughout Northern Africa is an authentic threat to Spain's security.

In that regard, he favored facilitating an end to the conflict in Libya, as it fosters the strengthening of the extremists, and confirmed the intention to call a summit of the parties in conflict in Madrid, if the talks scheduled for January 5 are successful.

The Spanish minister, whose country became a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council on January 1, noted that his priority in that international body will focus on the conflict in the Near East and Northern Africa, which have complicated since the foundation of the Islamic State.

That is the reason of his visit to Egypt and the trips he will take in the next few days to Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

Asked about the prospects to reform the UN Security Council, Garcia-Margallo included Spain in the group of countries that oppose an increase in the number of members, but favor extending the duration of the mandate of non-permanent members.

He also favored the introduction of some kind of limits to the veto power of the permanent members and a change in relations between the Security Council and the General Assembly.
(Prensa Latina)