PM SEEKS INVITE TO G20 MEETING

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero used his two-day stay in Beijing, where he attended the Euro-Asian Summit last week, to continue his attempts to get an invitation to the summit on the world economic crisis, to be held in Washington on November 15th. President George W Bush has only invited the leaders of the G-20 nations, which does not include Spain. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is the current EU president, said last Saturday that EU leaders would attend the summit as a bloc. Both Mr Sarkozy and Britain’s Gordon Brown, have said Sr Zapatero should be at the summit. Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos has said that Spain is doing everything possible to be at the Washington summit: “We consider that we have all the legitimate right to be present in this meeting.” Spanish newspapers claim that Mr Bush has not invited Sr Zapatero to the meeting to punish him for withdrawing Spain’s peace-keeping troops from Iraq immediate shortly after he was elected in March 2004. They also highlight the incident when Sr Zapatero, then leader of the opposition, refused to stand up when the American troops marched past the politicians’ stand at the National Day military parade on October 12, 2003.

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