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 Home > News & Policies > June 2001

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 12, 2001

Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and President Jose Maria Aznar

President Bush and President Aznar reaffirm the close friendship between the United States and Spain, rooted in common history, common values and common interests in Europe, the Mediterranean, Latin America, and beyond. Building upon our Joint Declaration of January 11, 2001, we commit ourselves to the shared goals of enhanced bilateral relations, a stronger Transatlantic alliance, and a Europe whole, free and at peace.

We commit to work together and with other European states to deepen Transatlantic economic relations and to seek out solutions when we disagree.  We reaffirm our commitment to the multilateral trading system and strongly support the launch of a new round of global trade negotiations this year.  It is our goal to open markets, both regionally and globally. We agree to intensify our efforts to liberalize fully our bilateral civil aviation relationship.  We support the integration and ongoing transformation of Europe's new democracies and support their aspirations to join Europe's major institutions.

We affirm that NATO will remain the essential foundation of Transatlantic security.  We are resolved to further develop our cooperation bilaterally and within the Atlantic Alliance and continue to make essential contributions to the Alliance.  NATO will continue to adapt itself to meet new missions and challenges by strengthening its capabilities; seeking to reinforce cooperation with Russia, Ukraine and other members of the Partnership for Peace; and continuing to admit to its ranks European democracies prepared to assume the responsibilities of membership.  Just as Spain's entry into NATO in 1982 marked a milestone in its return to the Transatlantic community, so NATO's continuing enlargement will allow new Allies to join with and make contributions to an undivided Europe and Euro-Atlantic area.  We will work together to advance NATO's enlargement at NATO's Prague Summit in November, 2002.

We support efforts of NATO's European Members and other European nations to assume greater responsibility for crisis management in Europe by committing new resources to strengthen their and NATO's capabilities and developing the ability to manage efforts where NATO as a whole chooses not to engage. The United States welcomes the European Union's European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), intended to make Europe a stronger, more capable partner in deterring and managing crises affecting the security of the Transatlantic community.  We believe it is essential that the EU develop capabilities that enable it to act when NATO as a whole is not engaged, in a manner that is fully coordinated, compatible and transparent with NATO, and to provide for the fullest possible participation of non-EU European Allies.  We also agree that the Alliance will be able to meet the 21st century's new challenges most effectively by strengthening cooperation in Transatlantic defense trade and the removal of unnecessary governmenta l barriers and impediments to such trade.

We reaffirm our commitment to work with European Union and other partners to consolidate the peace and build lasting stability in Southeast Europe based on democratic governance, the rule of law, and increasing integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.  We condemn extremists, such as those in Macedonia, who subvert the democratic process through the use of violence. Our two countries are committed to NATO-led operations in Bosnia and Kosovo, and will work with our allies to transfer responsibilities for public security from combat forces to specialized units and international police, and ultimately to local authorities.

We face a growing threat from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles for their delivery.  We are engaged in a consultation process with all interested parties about this new threat.  We agree on the need for a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses both offensive and defensive deterrent systems, continues nuclear arms reductions, and strengthens WMD and missile proliferation controls and counter-proliferation measures.

We renew our Joint Declaration commitment to combat terrorism wherever it is encountered; to cooperate closely in regions of the world where Spain and the United States share strong common interests, notably, to promote democracy and human rights in Latin America.  We will continue our efforts in support of the peace process in Colombia.  In this context, the July 2000 Madrid Conference on Colombia is an example of transatlantic cooperation that we seek to foster in the region.  We will also cooperate to bring an end to the violence and find a lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

We will help the poorest countries benefit from the international trading system and technological development, to support access to information, develop economic opportunities, and foster democratic societies across the globe.  Technological development will also help overcome hunger, poverty, and disease in the developing world.  With our African partners, we will jointly commit to addressing conflict and infectious disease -- especially HIV/AIDS -- and to promoting economic growth and good governance.  It is in all of our interests to create a more stable and peaceful world and to make available the benefits of globalization to all peoples.

In order to pursue our consultations, we look forward to meeting in the United States before the end of the year, in advance of Spain's assuming the Presidency of the European Union in the first semester of 2002.

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