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    INTRODUCTION: Mexico and Spain have healed a 40-year-old diplomatic rift. Spain's Prime Minister, Adolfo Suarez,?

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    INTRODUCTION: Mexico and Spain have healed a 40-year-old diplomatic rift. Spain's Prime Minister, Adolfo Suarez, arrived in Mexico on Monday (25 April) for a two-day visit designed to re-establish the links that were broken in the Spanish Civil War. Mexico refused to recognise the Franco government, and maintained links with the Government of the Spanish Republic in exile.

    SYNOPSIS:Senor Suarez is the first Spanish leader to visit Mexico for more than 40 years and both countries are now actively seeking to improve both their political and economic ties. Mexico is keen to develop closer links with Europe, and Spain sees Mexico as the key to a new trading effort with Latin America.

    The Spanish premier is accompanied by Foreign Minister Marcelino Oreja, and the official welcoming party included Mexico's Interior Minister, Senor Reyes Herolej. Senor Suarez was on the way to the United States for talks with President Carter. There, the two leaders were expected to discuss the possibility of Spain joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation-NATO
    Senor Suarez is also expected to voice concern at Spain's trade deficit with the United States, and to seek financial support for the Spanish economy. He'll also meet the United Nations Secretary General, Dr. Kurt Waldheim.

    But in Mexico, the first stop for the Spanish premier was the Presidential Palace where he met president Jose Lopez Portillo for talks. President Portillo described the new relations between the two countries as being "direct, realistic, objective and increasingly deep". Business links have begun to flourish again. Spanish firms are financing Mexican development projects, and Mexico announced recently that it is to export 20,000 sacks of coffee to Spain to offset a shortage there.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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