Ambassador Carlos C. Salinas, as Dean of the Asia-Pacific Diplomatic Corps, led 16 Ambassadors and senior embassy officials in a breakfast meeting with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Ignacio Ybañez on 29 March 2016. Joining Amb. Salinas were the Ambassadors of Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, DPRK, ROK, Malaysia and New Zealand, as well as senior officials from the embassies of Afghanistan, Japan, Pakistan, Thailand and Uzbekistan.
In his remarks, Amb. Salinas noted the Foreign Ministry´s continued engagement with the ASPAC group following the meeting last October with Foreign Minister José Manuel Garcia-Margallo. He also welcomed Spain´s efforts to increase its presence in the ASPAC region, promote mutual knowledge, increase trade and investments, reinforce the role of the European Union, and promote cooperation between Spain, ASPAC and Latin America.
The meeting was an opportunity for the parties to discuss the latest political and economic situation in Spain and for the Spanish Foreign Ministry to elaborate on its foreign policy initiatives towards Asia and the Pacific. The meeting also emphasized the importance of cultural institutions such as Casa Asia and Instituto Cervantes, and bilateral mechanisms such as the Tribunas, in helping build bridges between the peoples of Europe and the Asia-Pacific. Finally, the diplomats exchanged ideas on the issues that could be discussed during the upcoming 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in Mongolia, including how to promote ASEM as a platform for dialogue to promote peace, stability and development.