INTRODUCTION: U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig declared unflinching support of Thursday (9 April) for Spain's young democracy, which continues despite being shaken by an attempted coup in February.
SV PAN General Haig walks up steps being greeted by Spanish Prime Minister Calvo Sotelo.
CU ZOOM OUT Haig seated talking with Sotelo.
SV American and Spanish delegates seated at conference.
SV Haig talking with King Juan Carlos then meeting rest of American delegation
SV Haig and Socialist party leader Gonzalez walking down steps and Gonzalez leaves.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig declared unflinching support of Thursday (9 April) for Spain's young democracy, which continues despite being shaken by an attempted coup in February. Mr. Haig, who arrived in Madrid on Wednesday for a day's talks before departing for London, had to face a hostile local press suspicious of U.S. intentions towards Spain.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Haig was greeted by Spain's new Prime Minister, Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo. But many Spaniards and the local liberal press gave Mr. Haig a cool reception. They were incensed when Mr. Haig first described the February assault on Parliament by rebel civil guards as an internal affair for Spain. Subsequent statements of warm support for Spanish democracy by President Reagan have not dispelled all suspicions that the U.S. authorities are only lukewarm in their backing for parliamentary rule in Spain.
Although in Spain for only 20 hours, Mr. Haig had talks with the Spanish Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defence Minister, as well as King Juan Carlos. Afterwards Mr. Haig announced that negotiations would begin almost immediately on a new friendship and co-operation agreement between the United States and Spain. The current five-year treaty, which gives the U.S. the use of four military bases in return for 1.4 billion dollars worth credits, expires next September. The Spanish authorities have already indicated that the financial assistance they have received from the United States so far has been too little. Mr. Haig also made time to have talks with Socialist Opposition leader Felipe Gonzalez and the chief U.S. negotiator at the European Security Review Conference being held in Madrid. Afterwards Mr. Haig criticised the Soviet record on Afghanistan and human rights.