• Short Summary

    A new 10 year treaty of Friendship and Co-operation between Spain and Portugal was ratified on Friday (5 May).

  • Description

    A new 10 year treaty of Friendship and Co-operation between Spain and Portugal was ratified on Friday (5 May). For the ordinary Spaniards and Portuguese, one of the most immediate effects of the treaty will be the easing of travel across the border -- moves are already under way to drop the need for passport identification. On a political level, the treaty makes clear that the new democracies in Spain and Portugal reject the isolationism of the dictatorship era in both countries, and will co-operate in efforts to integrate into Europe and to establish wider international links -- especially with former colonies speaking common languages.

    SYNOPSIS: The ratification ceremony was held here, in the picturesque 15th century Palace of the Duke of Braganca, at Guimaraes, in the north of Portugal. It was here that the Portuguese nation came into being, with the birth of the country's first king, Alfonso, 867 years ago, in the year 1111.

    The heads of state of Spain and Portugal, King Juan Carlos and General Antonio Ramalho Eanes were there, together with the King's wife, Queen Sofia, and Portugal's Prime Minister Mario Soares.

    It was the Foreign Ministers who signed the documents, Senor Marcelino Oreja Aguirre for Spain, and for Portugal, Senhor Victor Sa Machado. The new treaty replaces the treaty of Friendship and Non-Aggression, known as the Iberian Pact, that was signed by the late dictators, Franco of Spain, and Salazar of Portugal, a few months before World War Two. This one.......differs from the old treaty by emphasising co-operation rather than non-aggression. Under it both countries will give favoured treatment to their exports and will co-ordinate development of their poor frontier regions.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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