Spain and the US will begin talks for the arrival of two new destroyers in Rota at the beginning of 2023
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Spain and the United States plan to begin talks at the beginning of 2023 for the reform of the bilateral defense agreement that allows the establishment at the Rota naval base (Cádiz) of two new destroyers as part of the NATO anti-missile shield, which will be added to the four already installed there since 2014 and 2015.

As sources from the Ministry of Defense have advanced to Europa Press, the arrival of the first of the destroyers in Rota “is not scheduled for 2023, but later”, so the talks between the two countries will not start until the beginning of the next year.

This was agreed “informally” by the delegations of Spain and the United States on the margins of the NATO Summit held in Madrid last June, according to the Department headed by Margarita Robles.

The expansion of the US military presence in Rota was sealed by its president, Joe Biden, and the head of the Spanish Executive, Pedro Sánchez, in the bilateral meeting they held at the Moncloa Palace.

Expand military collaboration

The US and Spanish leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the military agreement sealed in 1988, which allows the shared use of the Morón (Seville) and Rota bases and which they described as “a fundamental piece” of bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries.

His intention to “expand” this collaboration will be reflected by the arrival in Rota of two new destroyers, which will be added to the four that are already permanently deployed there. This expansion requires the reform of the defense collaboration agreement between the two countries, which must be approved by the Council of Ministers and later ratified by the Congress of Deputies.

At the NATO Summit, Sánchez assured that his intention was to bring this modification of the agreement to the Council of Ministers “soon” and advocated a broad parliamentary consensus that included his government partner, Unidas Podemos, very critical of the Atlantic Alliance.

However, the Executive already warned that before the US Administration had to legally formalize its desire to expand its military presence in Spain and also the Rota base had to undergo a series of works to adapt its infrastructure.

usa silence

The ‘number two’ of Foreign Affairs, Ángeles Moreno, announced in mid-October that negotiations between the two countries would begin “soon”. However, from the State Department they have not wanted to confirm to Europa Press when it will happen, while the Pentagon has not wanted to talk about it either.

In addition, the Department of Defense has also not ruled on when the deployment of the two destroyers could take place. A spokesman has clarified to Europa Press that “for security reasons” they do not usually comment on their operations or future deployments.

Europe Press

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