Spain: Qatar ambassador defends Juan Carlos's private trips

Good for economic ties with other countries

19 April, 18:49

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, APRIL 19 - Qatar's ambassador to Spain, George Massade, also president of a consortium of companies from both countries, today defended the private trips made by King Juan Carlos. He said that these trips have a positive impact on Spain's foreign commercial and economic relations. During the second business meeting between Spain and Qatar, today in Madrid, Massad was quoted by the EFE agency as saying that the Spanish king ''is a unique man''. Massad reportedly praised the king's role as head of state and wished him a quick recovery, together with around one hundred businessmen present at the meeting. Yesterday King Juan Carlos offered his apologies to the citizens of Spain, an unprecedented initiative, while leaving the hospital where he had been treated for a fracture of his right hip. He had broken his hip during an elephant hunting safari in Botswana. In defence of the Spanish king, the ambassador said that the king's ''influence'', as he had observed himself, goes beyond his private trips because he ''does not only visit a country." As evidence for his statement, Massad mentioned the fact that a consortium of 12 Spanish companies won a contract for the construction of a high-speed train line in the desert after a visit by the Spanish king to Saudi Arabia. According to the ambassador, Juan Carlos arranged for the Saudi sheikh Al Thani to visit Spain: ''And now Iberdrola and Bankia must be grateful,'' the diplomat concluded, mentioning two Spanish banks. (ANSAmed).

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