Felipe VI praises NATO unity caused by war

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Madrid (EFE).- The King sent this Sunday a message of support and solidarity “to the brave Ukrainian people” and to their leaders and considered that this war, “far from undermining unity and solidarity” member countries of NATO, has “extraordinarily strengthened”.

Felipe VI, accompanied by Queen Letizia, received at the Royal Palace in Madrid the leaders participating in the 68th NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which brings together in Madrid nearly 300 representatives of the 30 countries of the Atlantic Alliance and 20 associates.

Before delivering their speech, the Kings greeted the President of Congress, Meritxell Batet, the President of the Senate, Ander Gil; the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Gerald E. Connolly; Defense Minister Margarita Robles; the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Spain to the NATO Council, Federico Torres, and a representation of approximately 70 members of the Assembly.

In a brief speech, the Head of State wanted to express his solidarity and that of Spain to the Ukrainian people, at which time the applause of those present interrupted the words of the monarch.

King Felipe VI delivers a speech during the audience at the Royal Palace for the participants in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held in Madrid. EFE POOL / Borja Sanchez-Trillo

“War has hit Europe again in a dramatic way in 2022. Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine has not only caused the sinister spread of death and destruction on its territory, but has also brought extremely serious and unacceptable damage to the peace and rules-based international order to NATO’s doorstep,” he noted.

Felipe VI said the conflict that began nine months ago had “dramatic” consequences. “However, this conflict – and the international crisis – far from harming transatlantic unity and solidarity, has strengthened them in an extraordinary way”, he underlined.

For the Head of State, the NATO summit held in Madrid last June represents “clear, firm and unanimous proof”, since it reaffirmed “the principles and values” of its partners , brought “strategic depth” and adopted an “ambitious” set of measures that provide the tools needed to strengthen “deterrence and defence” and face the challenges of the next decade.

Some challenges, he added, range from cyberspace to outer space, from staying at the forefront of technological progress to energy resilience, and from terrorism to the security impact of climate change.

Felipe VI praises the "extraordinary" War-triggered NATO unit
King Felipe VI, accompanied by Queen Letizia, during the audience of participants in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. EFE/ Borja Sanchez-Trillo

In this sense, the King insisted on underlining the “important” role played by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly: its work “guides” the Alliance, contributes to “shaping” its policies, supports the strengthening of relations with its partners and provide an “essential link” with partner companies.

“Here in Spain, the year 2022 could well be called ‘the year of NATO’. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of our country’s membership and the Madrid summit that followed allowed us to reaffirm Spain’s unwavering commitment to the Alliance,” he said.

Likewise, he wanted to recognize the “remarkable and exemplary” performance of Spanish troops in the various NATO missions and operations.

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