MADRID — President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived here Sunday morning for a two-day visit aimed at forging stronger bilateral and trade ties with Spain.
The President, accompanied by the official delegation, arrived in the Spanish capital at 7:22 a.m. (1:22 p.m. in Manila) to begin his four-nation trip to Europe from September 13 to 20.
The Chief Executive’s schedule in Madrid includes meetings with King of Spain His Majesty Felipe VI and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to discuss, among others, developments on the Mindanao peace process and the West Philippine Sea, as well as the welfare of Filipino seafarers.
He will also meet with former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to discuss economic relations and other issues.
It will be followed by a meeting with the organizers of the Madrid Fusión, an annual international gastronomy gathering attended by elite chefs and experts in the culinary field to discuss trends, evolution of tastes and new food habits.
The President was welcomed by Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos C. Salinas, Consul General Emmanuel Fernandez, and Defense and Armed Forces Attaché Colonel Benjamin Castro.
Also present to receive President Aquino at the airport were Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Luis Antonio Calvio, Chief of Protocol Ambassador Jose Maria Rodriguez Coso, and other officials.
The President is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., and Presidential Management Staff head Julia Abad.