Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Ibero-America Jesus Gracia begins Wednesday in Argentina his first trip to South America with the purpose of reviewing bilateral relations and reporting on the preparations for the coming Ibero-American summit to be held in Cadiz.
Gracia who was sworn in last January 9 is also scheduled to visit Uruguay. Last month the new minister visited Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras escorting the Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish throne.
Gracia, 51, has been ambassador in Cuba from 2001 to 2004 during the second government of President Jose Aznar and his last post was precisely in Buenos Aires as councillor to the Spanish Embassy.
The purpose of the visit to Buenos Aires and Montevideo is precisely to review issues of common interest and the coming summit next November.
The Spanish official arrives in Buenos Aires at a peak of tension between the government of President Cristina Fernandez and (EU member) UK over the Falklands’ sovereignty dispute.
Argentina is demanding negotiations but the UK refuses point blank unless the people of the Islands in use of their right to self determination, so wish to.
Spain in the Ibero-American summits has always supported calls for the UK and Argentina to resume talks on the Falkland Islands status, following on the UN resolutions.
This week also President Mariano Rajoy is scheduled to meet with PM Cameron and according to Spanish media speculation will also bring up the issue of the disputed British Overseas Territory Gibraltar, calling for a ‘constructive dialogue” on the future of the Rock.