Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will finally receive the President of the United States, Joe Biden, this Tuesday at the Moncloa Palace. This will be with a view to staging what the Executive has endeavoured to ensure is a solid bilateral relationship after the failed meeting a year ago that ended in a brief chat lasting barely 30 seconds.
The US president is travelling to Madrid for the NATO summit, an occasion that Moncloa and the White House have taken advantage of to close the meeting. Biden, who will be received at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base (Madrid) by King Felipe VI, will also hold a meeting with the monarch at the Royal Palace, prior to the dinner that the King and Queen will offer to all the leaders attending the summit.
The expected photo and the meeting between Sánchez and Biden will serve to stage a relationship which for the government is strategic. And one that Washington has also been responsible for extolling throughout this time, denying problems with the coalition formed by PSOE and Unidas Podemos. Even at times when the junior partner has been more critical of the United States and in particular of NATO.
The agenda of the meeting will undoubtedly be marked by the NATO summit, but also by the conflict in Ukraine and the Russian threat. Spain and the United States are in agreement on this issue and have imposed similar sanctions against Russia and its leaders, whom they hold responsible for the “illegal and unjustified” invasion. It is also to be expected, given the Spanish government’s interest in NATO looking to the southern flank and the threats emanating from there, particularly the Sahel, that the issue will creep into the meeting. In this regard, it is worth recalling the good relationship that the United States maintains with Morocco, a fundamental partner in the fight against terrorism in the region, in the context of the new phase that has now begun between Rabat and Madrid.
As usual, the meeting will also serve to review bilateral relations in all areas, with special interest in the current economic situation. The United States is now Spain’s main supplier of natural gas, after overtaking Algeria in recent months, a country with which bilateral relations are currently going through a deep crisis due to the government’s support for Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Sahara.