Pedro Sánchez underlines the good bilateral relations between Spain and Portugal: "We are shared past, present and future"

President's News - 2024.4.15

Moncloa Palace, Madrid

15/04/2024. Meeting between Pedro Sánchez and the Prime Minister of Portugal. Meeting between the President of the Government of Spain, Pedr... Meeting between the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the Prime Minister of Portugal, Luis Montenegro (Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)

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The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, met this afternoon at Moncloa Palace with the Prime Minister of Portugal, Luis Montenegro, with whom he discussed many of the issues and challenges that Portugal and Spain share as neighbours and brother countries.

Pedro Sánchez thanked Luis Montenegro for deciding that his first visit abroad should be to Spain. The president stressed that Spain and Portugal share deep historical, social and cultural ties and many common interests and challenges in Europe and the world.

In this regard, the President of the Government stressed that the good bilateral relations between the two countries will continue to grow closer, and that both governments will continue to work for the benefit of Portuguese and Spanish citizens, while at the same time continuing to promote a more competitive, resilient and social Europe.

The two leaders discussed the upcoming XXXV Bilateral Summit, which will take place in autumn in Portugal, and the collaboration between the two countries in the framework of the national recovery programmes linked to areas included in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plans of both countries, such as electric vehicles, energy and ecological transition, development of special technologies and digital infrastructures.

They also delved into energy, rail and road interconnections. Portugal and Spain have recently made considerable efforts with regard to cross-border rail infrastructures, both those included in the Atlantic Corridor and the rest of the land connections.

They also highlighted the good cooperation at local, regional and national levels in recent decades on what is the oldest border in Europe - the Raya - thanks to which Spain and Portugal are managing to make it a point of exchange and communication.

Meeting between the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the Prime Minister of Portugal, Luis Montenegro | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

In this context, they discussed trade, industry, culture and territory, key aspects of the ties between the two countries. Among other things, they highlighted the fact that Spain is Portugal's main trading partner, and that both countries are among the favourite destinations for Erasmus students. The President of the Government explained that the 'Tour of Spain' starts this year in Lisbon, and that on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, a joint cultural programme is being launched between this year and next to celebrate our countries' transitions to democracy through art. He also highlighted the joint celebration of the global circumnavigation by Magellan and Elcano two years ago. "In short, we are past, present and future", Pedro Sánchez stressed.

During their meeting, Sánchez and Montenegro also addressed geopolitical issues and agreed on a shared commitment to peace and respect for the international order based on rules, focusing on how Spain and Portugal can contribute to this. In this regard, they spoke of promoting the system of Ibero-American summits and the EU's trade policy with Latin America and Mercosur. They also reaffirmed their strong support for Ukraine and the need to bring stability and prosperity to the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa.

Part of the meeting between the two leaders focused on addressing the terrible events unfolding in the Middle East. In this regard, both leaders reiterated their condemnation of Iran's bombing and of Hamas' terrorist attacks and the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

The president stated that Spain's position can be summed up in a single word: coherence. He stressed that Spain is committed to dialogue and peace, throughout the world and in all conflicts. He also called for "restraint and prudence" on the part of all actors involved.

Pedro Sánchez stressed that this weekend's events confirm what Spain has been advocating for months, and that two paths are now opening up; one that leads to an escalation of war with no horizon, and another that means a comprehensive ceasefire and the launch of a peace process based on the two-state solution and, therefore, on the recognition of Palestine and Israel, a path that the Government of Spain advocates for.

"It is cooperation between countries and regions that brought us the greatest period of peace and prosperity in modern history. We must continue to support it", the President of the Government defended.

Non official translation