Press Availability with Secretary Rumsfeld and Spanish Minister of Defense Bono
Rumsfeld: Good morning
Rumsfeld: We had a very good meeting
Rumsfeld: The relationship between our two countries partners in NATO is important
Rumsfeld: As you know we are cooperating in a variety of aspects in the Global War on Terror
Rumsfeld: And in Afghanistan
Rumsfeld: and we are pleased that Spain is also training some Iraqi Security Forces
Rumsfeld: I was very pleased to see the Minister again and welcome him to the Pentagon on a beautiful sunny day.
Rumsfeld: He has a statement?
Interpreter: We had a very cordial, very frank and very fruitful meeting.
Interpreter: And I think that we have laid the foundation so that the defense relations between the United States and Spain are improvable.
Interpreter: And as partners and friends we agree on the fact that our major enemies (inaudible)
Interpreter: Spain has suffered the scourge of terrorism and still does. And therefore you will always be able to count on us. Never will Spain’s support fail in any matter regarding the fight against terrorism. As alias and friends you will… as democracies and the United States particularly, will always be able to count on us. And frankly speaking… concerning world peace, it cannot be understood without the United States.
Interpreter: And we wanted to underscore this by wearing the same emblem with the colors of our two countries.
Rumsfeld: Thank you very much
Question: What about the (inaudible) agreement like the (inaudible) or maybe like the Venezuela?
Rumsfeld: We have discussed those issues…Venezuela. We discussed the EU arms embargo and our interest in not having it lifted.
Rumsfeld: I think that’s normal when 2 countries relationships that there will be differences just as there are within countries.
Rumsfeld: I have always felt it was important for other countries want to characterize their department we certainly appreciate Spain involvement in Afghanistan and the Reconstruction team and in the support base
Rumsfeld: Questions? No more questions?
Question (inaudible) foreign policy of Spain in military operations from now on, say Afghanistan or perhaps Iraq?
Rumsfeld: Oh, that’s up to Spain, I’ve always felt that it’s important for other countries to decide how they want to characterize their involvement, but we certainly appreciate Spain’s involvement in Afghanistan…in the provincial reconstruction team and in the support base.
Rumsfeld: Oh I enjoy Spain
Rumsfeld: I have been there many, many times over the decades
Rumsfeld: I have been there on business; I’ve been there on pleasure.
Rumsfeld: I even ran the bulls in Pamplona in the festival of San Fermin (sp)
Rumsfeld: …when I was ambassador to NATO.
Rumsfeld: But it was a very short run (laughs). I saw them gaining on me and I grabbed a no parking sign and pulled myself up and watched it all go by.
Question: Have you overcome the problem of the withdrawal of the troops in Iraq?
Rumsfeld: We did not discuss that today but obviously we felt badly about that as our presence expressed. We pick up and go on.
Rumsfeld: Why don’t you ask the Minister of Defense of Spain some tough questions?
Question: Is this the beginning of the recovery of the (inaudible).
Rumsfeld: I don’t. I think that it’s important to understand we are partners in a important military alliance
Rumsfeld: …and our ministries of defense and our military have had good relationships for a great many years.
Rumsfeld: And I think that is a good thing for freedom loving countries that our two countries have that good relationship military-to-military.
Rumsfeld: …and I’m going to get back to work. I would love to stand out here in the sun like this with you all.
Rumsfeld: You ought to be paying your employers for being able to stand out here on a lovely day like this (laughs). I think I’ll tell your employers that wherever you are.
Rumsfeld: I am going to have to get back upstairs and back to the grind.
Rumsfeld: Glad to see you all here. Ask him a lot of tough questions when you’re with him later today.