U.S. Asks Spain to Help Mediate in Mideast
MADRID (Reuters) - The United States has asked Spain's new foreign minister
to help mediate in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, Spain said on Thursday.
Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who spent seven years as the European Union (news - web sites)'s special envoy to the Middle East, received the request from Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) during a meeting on Wednesday in Washington, the spokesman said.
The request comes as U.S.-Spanish relations have come under strain due to Spain's decision to withdraw
its 1,400 troops from Iraq (news - web sites) as soon as possible.
"The role that the United States will ask of Spain has yet to be defined. But it appears there is a
spirit of cooperation," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Spain's Socialist party ousted a strongly pro-American party in March 14 elections which came three
days after the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people