“Cool!”, exclaimed more than one guest when contemplating the paintings. Pedro Sánchez welcomed his guests one by one to the Euro-Atlantic dinner held at the Prado Museum. The first to arrive, Emmanuel Macron and his wife. The French president made several attempts until he finally got around the greetings and conversations and was able to walk alone for a few minutes to contemplate the paintings. Minutes later, the one wandering alone in front of the paintings was Boris Johnson.

The Prado Museum hosted the first Euro-Atlantic dinner held on the occasion of a NATO summit. In the Government, maximum importance was granted to this meeting because, they argue, “it is the first time that this format is organized,” government sources emphasize. And they say: “This dinner is a success for the president.” Sánchez wanted to be the first host of a meeting that brought together the Heads of State and Government of the Euro-Atlantic countries and for this an unparalleled setting was sought: the Jerónimos Cloister.

Sánchez acted as an exultant host. He explained to Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, and Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, the painting of Las Meninas just a foot away from it. A painting that also hypnotized Macron and under whose gaze the family photo was taken. The chief executive showed satisfaction, joy. Not only because he makes sure to appear in the annals as the first president to promote a Euro-Atlantic working dinner, but because the first day of the summit met his expectations. In La Moncloa there is satisfaction because they consider that the new Strategic Concept includes “all” their demands.

There is a look to the south flank. NATO’s southern neighbours, in particular the Middle East, North Africa and Sahel regions, face interconnected security, demographic, economic and political challenges. Allusion that they consider valid in the Government. As for Ceuta and Melilla, there is no express reference, but the commitment “to defend every centimeter of allied territory, preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all allies” they believe clears up any doubt.

While some of the most powerful men in the world enjoyed a lobster gazpacho with summer vegetables scented with basil and virgin olive oil and lamb shoulder cooked at low temperature with lemon puree, the foreign ministers held another working dinner to treat exclusively the southern flank.

Vitaliy Klitschko, mayor of kyiv, and his brother Vladimir Klitschko, were two of the great protagonists in the Prado. The Spanish chef José Andrés, who was in charge of the menu at the request of Sánchez, was presenting them in case there was someone clueless who could not identify them. Joe Biden or Macron held conversations with them. The US president was effusive and close with Begoña Gómez, Sánchez’s wife.

After 8:45 p.m., the diners were taking their seats in the Jerónimos Cloister. A square table mounted on a raised platform. Microphones at each site. The last to sit at the table, Biden. His place, to the left of Sánchez. Flags of Spain, NATO and the EU. It is the image that Sánchez and the Government wanted: the photo of the “unity and cohesion of the European partners with the transatlantic allies”. A message of “strength and cohesion” in the face of the Russian threat.

Moreover, the Madrid Strategic Concept states that NATO considers the EU to be “a unique and essential partner”, with which it will improve “the strategic partnership and increase cooperation” but within a framework in which “unnecessary duplication “. He adds: “NATO allies and EU members share the same values.” Sánchez wanted to materialize the theory in an image of a host.

Before closing the day with this working dinner, Sánchez, in addition to participating in the two sessions of the summit, held bilateral meetings on the margins of the meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, whom Sánchez has reiterated that Spain supports Sweden’s entry into NATO. Also with the Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, to whom Sánchez conveyed his desire to have investment in Spain in strategic sectors of Japanese companies.

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