By Deirdre Tynan • 02 July 2021 • 18:29
Defence Minister, Margarita Robles Image: ATME Twitter
Defence Minister Margarita Robles says it is “more than fair” that Spain hosts the next NATO summit as Spain’s defence forces have made a great, but sometimes overlooked, contribution to NATO.
Spain will also mark the 40th anniversary of joining the military alliance next year as well as 25 years since it last hosted the summit.
“They have been 40 very intense years, with a very important human sacrifice on the part of our Armed Forces. Sometimes from the outside, we do not value the peace we have because behind there are men and women working in Spain and in very distant places to maintain it,” Robles said on July 2.
“It is more than fair and deserved that Spain holds the NATO Summit next year. Spain is made great by our committed and courageous Armed Forces,” she added while thanking “the 125,000 Spanish soldiers who have shown their commitment to peace and NATO values for their participation in NATO missions.”
On June 15, while attending a NATO meeting in Brussels, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced Spain will hold the annual NATO summit in 2022.
“At the 1997 Summit in Spain, the allies were capable of demonstrating cohesion but, above all, a vision of the future to face the new strategic scenario that was opening up after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I would like to take this spirit of Madrid to the next Summit so that we are able to come up with a new Strategic Concept to guide us in the years to come,” Sanchez said.
Spain’s armed forces, with 144,457 personnel – 124,457 military and 20,000 civilians – is the seventh largest in the alliance.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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