Remarks With Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ignacio Ybanez

Antony J. Blinken
Deputy Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
June 17, 2015

MODERATOR: Deputy Secretary Blinken and Secretary of State Ybanez are signing the Third Amendment to the Bilateral Agreement on Defense Cooperation. This amendment allows the permanent basing of a U.S. crisis response force at Moron Air Base and is the latest example of the long, deep, and mutually beneficial defense cooperation between the United States and Spain.

(The Amendment was signed.)

DEPUTY SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you very much.

STATE SECRETARY YBANEZ: Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

DEPUTY SECRETARY BLINKEN: We are very grateful to our Spanish allies and partners and friends for this agreement. You’ve hosted the United States military for more than 60 years now, and every day this partnership, this relationship grows stronger. And I just want to express to you on behalf of the Government of the United States our gratitude for that. We look forward to many more years of strong partnership. Thank you so much.

STATE SECRETARY YBANEZ: Thank you. It’s really a pleasure to be here in Washington to sign with you this very important agreement for Spain and for the United States. Really it’s very good proof of our very special relation that we have with the U.S., and we are more than happy to give this cooperation, which is, in this case, is concentrated on the part – on the military part, but of course, which is much deeper and goes to very much elements and we are really together and, of course, as we want to keep on this path. Thank you very much. Thank you.

DEPUTY SECRETARY BLINKEN: And this is a letter from Secretary Kerry, who very much wished he could be here to do this today. We now have him back in Washington. We’re going to get him back in the building very soon, but he asked me to convey this to you and to the foreign minister on his behalf.

STATE SECRETARY YBANEZ: Thank you very much, and we are waiting for him in Madrid. (Laughter.)

DEPUTY SECRETARY BLINKEN: We look forward to it.

STATE SECRETARY YBANEZ: Thank you very much.

DEPUTY SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you. (Applause.)