MADRID, Spain — President Benigno S. Aquino III is scheduled to meet on Monday with His Majesty King Felipe VI and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to discuss a wide range of issues, including developments in the West Philippine Sea, the status of the peace process in Mindanao, the welfare of Filipino seafarers, and the country’s bid for a preferential trading agreement.
President Aquino will first hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rajoy at 9 a.m. at the Palacio de la Moncloa, the official residence for the Prime Minister of Spain since 1977, and will be joined by four Cabinet members and their Spanish counterparts.
During the meeting, the President is also expected to thank Spain for maintaining the Philippines a priority country for Spanish Official Development Assistance (ODA).
According to Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Zeneida Angara-Collinson, the Philippines is the only Asian country that benefits from the Spanish ODA program owing to the deep ties between the two nations.
Arrival honors are expected to be rendered for the President when he arrives at the Prime Minister’s official residence, followed by the signing of the guest book which all heads of states or governments do when visiting the Prime Minister’s office.
After the bilateral meeting, the President will have an audience with the King of Spain, His Majesty Felipe VI, at Palacio de la Zarzuela, during which the Chief Executive is expected to confirm His Majesty’s acceptance to visit the Philippines.
These two events will be the last schedule of the President in Madrid before he departs for Brussels, Belgium for the second leg of his eight-day Europe trip.