Spanish ambassador refutes reports that Spain suspended 'Alliance of Civilizations' activities
ANKARASpain’s ambassador to Turkey has refuted media reports suggesting that his country has suspended its activities in the “Alliance of Civilizations” jointly launched by Ankara and Madrid.
“Spain and Turkey co-sponsored ‘the Alliance of Civilizations’ within the framework of the United Nations, and Turkey is also part of the small group of countries with which Spain holds an annual summit. Thus, in the political, economic and Mediterranean regional vision, Turkey is a strategic partner of Spain,” Spanish Ambassador Rafael Mendivil Peydro quoted “Spain’s Foreign Action Strategy for the period 2015-2018” as saying.
The document was debated and approved by the Spanish cabinet on Dec. 5, 2014 and subsequently debated by the Spanish parliament on Dec. 17, Peydro noted.
“I hope that this position of the Spanish government, officially passed by parliament a few days ago, is sufficiently clear and convincing to refute and reveal the falseness of the claims, whose origins are not specified, in the ‘reports’ of your newspapers,” he added.
Media reports suggested that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wanted to cancel the 6th Turkey-Spain Intergovernmental Summit, which is scheduled to be held this year. Rajoy is in an election year and wants to make time to meet his voters instead, it was reported.
It was also claimed that the Alliance was removed from Spain's National Security Strategy Document, under pressure from ruling party lawmakers who argued that it would be wrong to mention such an alliance “at a time when jihadists are terrorizing Europe.”
The Alliance of Civilizations was launched in 2005 by the prime ministers of Turkey and Spain, and later adopted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to become a U.N. initiative and referred to as the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).