Czech foreign minister discusses EU, US missile base, and Cuba with Spanish counterpart

21-05-2007

Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country has already ratified the EU draft constitution, agrees with his Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg that a new European agreement supported by all EU member states needs to be drawn up. On an official visit to Prague, Mr Moratinos said dialogue and debate played a crucial role in finding a joint position on the EU's future role. The two state representatives also discussed Washington's plans to station part of its missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic and their countries' positions on Cuba.

With regards to the US missile shield, Mr Schwarzenberg said it was no surprise that US lawmakers moved to cut the budget for the extension of the shield to Central Europe. Regarding Cuba, both men agreed that their countries' goals are the same but methods of achieving them differ. Spain prefers to take up the issue of human rights violations through dialogue with the Cuban government, while the Czech Republic has been pushing for Brussels to exert more political pressure on the island's totalitarian regime.