The new stage of the Pedro Sánchez government, after the profound remodeling in July, begins with a bumpy start in relation to the international agenda, an issue in which the president has always shown much more interest than his predecessors.
Sánchez already canceled a trip to Egypt and Kenya in August due to the crisis in Afghanistan, and has had to minimize his schedule in New York due to the volcano catastrophe on La Palma.
The president had planned to spend four full days in the financial capital of the world and headquarters of the UN, which celebrates its General Assembly as every year in this week of September, and had organized an agenda with three interviews in the main US media and several meetings with relevant investors and
in this country, to try to strengthen Spain's international image and highlight the recovery plan for the Spanish economy, its great project for the coming months. However, the volcano crisis, which erupted when there was very little left for the scheduled takeoff time for New York on Sunday, has forced Sánchez to completely change his plans and reduce his presence to a minimum, one day, that of his intervention before the UN summit.
The president will try to take advantage of this visit to launch a message in favor of a “global vision” and an international perspective at a particularly delicate moment on the international agenda, which has started the assembly with three speeches: the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres; that of the president of the United States, Joe Biden; and that of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. His speeches summarize well the high-risk situation experienced by the international community after the withdrawal from Afghanistan and with the tension between the United States and China increasing and as the main protagonist of the summit in New York. Added to this is a very tough rupture between France, and with it the EU, with the US over the nuclear submarine contracts that the Biden Administration has entrusted to Australia against the country chaired by Emmanuel Macron,that he has decided nothing less than to call his ambassador in Washington for consultations. This crisis has caused great tension within NATO itself, and it is expected that it will be redirected two days later with a conversation between Biden and Macron.
Sánchez, who will host the summit of this alliance next year, kicks off his agenda in New York with a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Faced with the doubts raised by Bolsonaro regarding vaccines and the requirement that there is, for example, in New York restaurants to present the vaccination card to enter, Sánchez will make a closed defense of multilateralism and vaccines, and will claim that Spain has already delivered 7.5 million to Latin America.
As soon as his speech is over, this Wednesday afternoon in the US - Thursday morning in Madrid - Sánchez will quickly return to Spain to accompany King Felipe VI on his visit to La Palma. It will be José Manuel Albares, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who supplants the president in the agenda that is always usually organized around the UN summit. Albares has taken advantage of the appointment to promote a conversation with his counterparts from several countries, including Morocco and Algeria, key at this time due to the crisis between them and which can complicate the supply of gas to Spain, and the need to definitively resolve the problem. tension with Rabat.This latest crisis seems finally subsided in the absence of a trip by Albares himself or Sánchez to Morocco to finish off the turn that began since the change of Foreign Minister in July.
What has not yet materialized is Sánchez's long-awaited trip to the White House. Not even when he was going to be there for four days, Sánchez had planned to meet the American president. Now, with his lightning visit, much less. The call between the two in the middle of the crisis in Afghanistan, in August, suggested that the relationship had been redirected and that meeting in Washington was very close. But, for the moment, that matter is not moving forward. Still, sources from Sánchez's team insist that the relationship with the Biden administration is very good, and the contact between Albares and his counterpart, Anthony Blinken, is constant, so that appointment in Washington will arrive at any moment.
Sánchez already made a trip to the United States in July in which he also did not meet with representatives of the Biden Administration, but the crisis in Afghanistan changed the situation and the United States has especially appreciated the help of Spain in the evacuation of collaborators from this country. . Spain is avoiding at all times to charge the inks against Biden due to the crisis with France, contrary to what other European countries are doing.
Sánchez is especially interested in the success of the NATO summit in Madrid in 2022 and now there is much work ahead to smooth the tension between the United States and France, two permanent members of the UN Security Council and strategic allies in NATO. The role that Sánchez has chosen in this is therefore that of mediation. The situation is complex and the assembly started with Guterres' speech, in which he went on to say that "the world has never been so threatened or so divided."