The President met today with Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez of Spain. The two leaders had a working lunch in the Cabinet Room, with senior officials of both Governments participating.
The President and the Prime Minister noted with satisfaction the close relations between their two countries and discussed a number of international issues which are of particular concern to both. These included the crises in Iran and Afghanistan, the situation in the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and U.S.-Spanish cooperation in Western security matters.
The President, in congratulating the Prime Minister for his vigorous leadership in the evolution of Spanish democracy, expressed his appreciation and that of the entire American people for Spain's support on behalf of the international effort to secure release of American hostages held by Iran in defiance of universally accepted standards of decency and law. The President and the Prime Minister agreed that the principle of the rule of law, vital to the whole world community, is at stake in this crisis. The President and the Prime Minister further agreed that they would use every effort to convince the Iranian authorities to release, unharmed, all the hostages.
The two leaders exchanged views on the Soviet armed invasion and occupancy of Afghanistan. They agreed that this Soviet action, in flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, constitutes a most serious threat to international peace. In condemning Soviet aggression, the President and the Prime Minister agreed on the need to strengthen Western solidarity, as expressed in concrete measures, to impress upon the Soviet Union the consequences of its conduct.
During their discussion concerning other areas of interest to both Governments, the President expressed admiration for the Prime Minister's insights based on Spanish contacts and historical experience in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The President welcomed the constructive suggestions which the Prime Minister made regarding these parts of the world and agreed that it would be useful to intensify U.S.-Spanish consultations on ways in which both countries could work for peace and stability there.