NATO Summit Felipe VI: “No country is immune to war. The security of Spain and Western Europe passes through Ukraine”

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    Unity, freedom and democracy. Those have been the most repeated ideas on Tuesday by both Felipe VI and the president of the United States, Joe Biden. On a day dedicated to receiving the leaders who are going to participate in the NATO Summit starting this Wednesday, the King and Queen have opened the doors of the Royal Palace to celebrate a welcome dinner attended by 60 guests.

    In the speech that preceded the dinner, Felipe VI expressed great concern about the situation in the world, “Russia’s unjustifiable aggression against Ukraine. “No country is alien to this war. The very security of Spain and Western Europe also passes through Ukraine”, the King reflected in a gala dining room in which the 14 presidents and 21 prime ministers listened attentively to his words.

    As the King has acknowledged, “never before has this Palace welcomed and seated such a large number of senior world leaders at the same time”. Since in 199, there were not so many countries invited. From that moment he wanted to draw a parallel from Don Felipe, stating that “despite the threats to international peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic space, a spirit of optimism prevailed”. Now, however, “we are witnessing and experiencing the merging of old and new threats, old and new challenges.”

    These threats cause “free, plural and democratic societies” to be in danger, which is why he has asked the leaders participating in the Summit to achieve “societies that can feel safe and live in peace”.

    The King finished his speech recalling the 40th anniversary of Spain’s accession to NATO. Four decades in which Spain “has not only contributed military power to the Alliance, but also the power of its history, the power of its society’s commitment and the power of its strategic vision”.

    From five in the afternoon the Royal Palace has become the meeting point of the world. If the King held a meeting with Joe Biden there in the early afternoon, the welcome dinner for the leaders who attended the Summit was held afterwards.

    Don Felipe and Doña Letizia have received all the guests in the throne room. 16 presidents and 21 prime ministers, many of them with companions, crossed the doors of the imposing hall to greet the King and Queen, take pictures with them and have a small conversation. The King and Queen have been very close to the Australian Prime Minister, whom they have thanked for coming from so far away. Don Felipe has asked him if he has been able to rest. “Very little,” replied the politician. They have also been very close with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, and with her husband.

    After the greetings, the guests went to the Hall of Columns to enjoy an aperitif. From there, the leaders without their companions have entered the Hall of Alabarderos to take a group photo. Finally they entered the gala dining room, where they tasted hake with menier sauce, tapioca and trout roe and a dessert based on coconut foam with mint granita and passion fruit.

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