United States President Gerald Ford was in Madrid on Saturday (31 May) to discuss with General Francisco Franco the future of U.
United States President Gerald Ford was in Madrid on Saturday (31 May) to discuss with General Francisco Franco the future of U.S. military bases in Spain.
The President was met at the airport by General Franco amid stringent security precautions, and police and steel-helmeted security forces were posted along his route from the airport to Moncloa Palace. lined the motorcade route into the city.
President Ford arrived in Madrid for a 22-hour visit from Brussels, where at the NATO summit meeting he unsuccessfully urged Alliance leaders to establish a relationship with Spain because of the Franco Government's contributions to Western security.
Following talks between President Ford, who was accompanied by his Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, and Spanish ministers led by General Franco, U.S. sources said agreement had been reached on continued military co-operation.
But they stressed that it was too early to predict whether there would be any changes in the accord permitting the United States to use one main naval base and three air bases in Spain. The five-year agreement on the bases expires next month, and its renewal has become particularly vital to the United States in the light of uncertainty clouding its continued use of Portuguese bases in the Azores.