Sánchez and the president of the United States have signed a joint declaration that updates the bilateral strategic relationship that had not been touched since 2001. In the text they commit to "promote safe, orderly and regular migration." "Both countries intend to collaborate on a comprehensive approach to the management of irregular migratory flows that guarantees fair and humane treatment of migrants," says the text signed just three days after 37 people have lost their lives in the fence of Melilla for the police action that the Spanish president has applauded. In Texas, an abandoned truck has been found with 50 bodies of migrants.
“Both countries also plan to coordinate efforts to address the root causes of irregular migration and work to strengthen legal pathways, with special emphasis on Latin American and Caribbean countries. Spain and the United States also recognize the importance of permanent cooperation in responding to the challenges of irregular migration in the North African region”, states the joint statement. Sánchez thus obtains a commitment for one of the main concerns of the Government, which is the migratory flows on the border with Morocco.
Beyond migratory flows, the document does not make an express mention of the need to strengthen security on the so-called southern flank, which is one of Spain's requests for the new strategic concept that will come out of the NATO summit. Yes, the President of the Government mentioned it in passing when referring to the “increasingly prominent challenges in a region like the Sahel”.
The Biden Administration has informed the journalists accompanying the US delegation on the presidential plane of its intention to increase the destroyer ships deployed at the Rota base from four to six. The agreement reached collects it in a generic way with the "stationing of additional US warships". That intention has to be approved in the Council of Ministers and be endorsed in the Congress of Deputies, according to government sources, at a time when Sánchez's allies oppose an increase in military spending.
Sánchez and Biden have appeared without questions from journalists in the Barceló room of the Palacio de la Moncloa after holding a meeting for almost an hour on the eve of the official start of the NATO summit held in Madrid. The President of the United States had previously been received by King Felipe VI at the Torrejón air base upon landing on Air Force One from Germany, where the G-7 leaders had met. Biden will later hold a meeting with the head of state at the Royal Palace, where the monarchs will preside over a dinner with the heads of state of the countries that are part of the Atlantic alliance.