​Spanish Minister of Defense Margarita Robles (left) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III
Spanish Minister and U.S. Secretary of Defense Meet at NATO Ministerial

Minister Margarita Robles and Secretary Lloyd Austin III agreed that the evolution of security and climate change in Africa require the attention of NATO and the European Union.

10/21/2021

​The Minister for Defense, Margarita Robles, has met with her allied counterparts to discuss issues such as progress in the Alliance's Deterrence and Defense capabilities and lessons learned after the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

 

Spain is actively participating in the preparatory reflection processes for NATO's Strategic Concept and the EU's Strategic Compass, which will be published in 2022.

 

Bilateral Meeting with the United States 

In addition, Robles held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin, in which both discussed common defense interests, based on the agreement that "we are firm, solid and serious allies" in the defense of the values of the international community that Spain and the United States share. It has also been pointed out that "the US will play a pivotal role in the NATO summit in Madrid. We will work together to make the summit, which will be strategically very important for NATO in the coming years, a success. The Secretary of Defense valued Spain's contribution to the joint effort and its capacity as a secure exporter.
 
Both recalled the vital role of the Rota Naval Base in the US evacuation effort from Afghanistan last August. "They were especially grateful that the Rota base has served as a reception center for the Afghan collaborators," said Robles at the end of the meeting.
 
Robles said she was once again "proud of the values and actions of our armed forces during the evacuation" and thanked the United States for its help and the sacrifice of the thirteen Marines who gave their lives to facilitate it.
The Minister for Defense recalled that NATO "must maintain a very special commitment to the defense of human rights, with special attention to those of women and girls".
 
In their interview, Robles and Austin also discussed the situation in the Sahel, concerns about climate change and developments in Africa, a continent to which NATO and the EU need to pay special attention. The Secretary of Defense has valued the presence of the Spanish Navy in the Gulf of Guinea.
 
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UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION
 
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Original press release published by the Spanish Ministry of Defense in Spanish
 

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