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King Felipe VI and Biden agree on the defence of democratic values and unity

Felipe VI held a half-hour meeting with the President of the United States where they emphasised the "good friendship" that unites both countries
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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst  -   The President of the United States, Joe Biden, speaks next to King Felipe VI after their meeting at the Royal Palace

NATO leaders are already in Madrid, kicking off one of the most important weeks for defence and international security. The President of the United States, Joe Biden, arrived at the Torrejón de Ardoz military base, where the King of Spain, Felipe VI, was waiting for him to attend the awaited NATO Summit, hosted for the second time in its history in the city of Madrid. 

After his welcome, and after Biden had gone to the Moncloa, the President of the United States went to the Royal Palace. There, and prior to the official dinner, King Felipe VI held a meeting with Joe Biden in which they agreed on the need to protect the democratic values and the collective unity of all the member countries of the Alliance.

"The Kingdom of Spain and the United States of America share deep historical and cultural ties (...) we are very proud of this". With these words, Felipe VI began a joint statement with Biden, after a half-hour meeting, in which he stressed that the most important aspect of the relationship "is that we share values and principles that today form the basis of a rich and broad relationship".

"This is, without doubt, a particularly important summit," he reiterated. "One in which international leaders must continue to demonstrate unity and determination to defend our freedom".

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JUANJO MARTÍN/POOL VIA REUTERS - The President of the United States, Joe Biden, speaks next to King Felipe VI after their meeting at the Royal Palace

In the same vein, the US President noted that NATO is now "united" and "motivated" in a way "I don't think we've ever been before. We are prepared to stand up to threats of aggression because frankly there is no other choice," he warned.

Biden referred to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as "the most significant abuse of power since World War II. Some believed it would never happen again, but it has happened, and we have responded in unison".

Similarly, the US president thanked the king and the Spanish people for their support "not only in terms of what is happening in Europe and what is happening in North Africa, but also in Latin America". He said that "the help, support and contribution has been extremely valuable".

"We have to stand together. Unity is important and I think we have made a very good start in demonstrating the power of democracies in the second quarter of the 21st century," he concluded. 

Larger military contingent 

One of the main measures already announced is an increase in military personnel both at NATO military bases and in international defence and training operations.

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP - The King of Spain, Felipe VI, welcomes US President Joe Biden before their meeting at the Royal Palace in Madrid

The US President has also announced that the presence of troops in Europe will be reinforced with 3,000 more soldiers in Romania, Poland and at an anti-aircraft base in Italy and Germany. It should also be noted that the US will reinforce its military presence at the Spanish base in Rota, as two more destroyers will be sent to add to the four already at the base.

Likewise, the increase in US military capabilities in Spain will increase the number of US troops in Rota by 600. This increase will make it necessary to reform the cooperation agreement between Spain and the US, which in turn will have to pass through the Council of Ministers and be approved by the Congress of Deputies.

Americas Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.