The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs highlighted Australia as a strategic country for Spain in the Asia-Pacific region
During a meeting with the participants in the Leaders Programme, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ildefonso Castro, highlighted the importance of Australia for Spanish and European interests in the Easternmost corner of the planet. As well as China and India, given the size of their economies, the Secretary of State emphasised that Australia and Japan are among the key markets for Spain in the region.
The meeting also served to review the state of affairs in international politics, analysing both issues concerning specific countries as well as broader international topics such as globalisation, the rise of populism and the fight against international terrorism, “a priority for Spain” according to the Secretary of State. In the field of Defence, the Leaders showed an interest in the role of the Spanish Army and its missions abroad.
Prior to his meeting with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Secretary General of the Spain Australia Council Foundation, Mr Alonso Dezcallar, officially welcomed the participants in the Programme. He also offered an overview of the main items of the agenda, which was designed, on this occasion, to allow representatives of the main think tanks of the two countries to exchange opinions, strategies and concerns.
“There are close ties between us in many fields despite the distance between our countries, and that encourages us to consider the possibility of collaborating more closely still,” said SACF's Secretary General. Mr Dezcallar added that one of the Leaders Programme's main goals is to “open new doors and enable people to get to know each other and bond in the hope that new initiatives will emerge”. He invited the Leaders to be proactive and participative and said he hoped they would find the planned agenda to their liking.