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Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy meets Barack Obama in Seoul

Author: Carolyn Mowlem  |  March 27th, 2012

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Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy meets Barack Obama in Seoul

Rajoy & Obama meet for the first time at the Seoul Nuclear Safety Summit - Photo: EFE

Just one day after the Partido Popular’s surprise defeat in the Andalusian parliamentary elections, Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy flew to Seoul yesterday to take part in the 2nd Nuclear Safety Summit. Today, his 57th birthday, he briefly met the US President for the first time and duly received an invitation to the White House, while he was also presented with a cake courtesy of the President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak.

No date has yet been set for Rajoy’s visit to the White House, although it may well happen during the NATO Summit to be held in Chicago in May.

The Spanish PM is having a busy round of meetings in Seoul – with the heads of government of Chile, Turkey, Canada, South Africa, Kazakhstan and South Korea – before returning to Madrid ahead of the general strike planned for 29 March and of course the budget due on 30 March.

Rajoy’s governing PP party won 50 seats in Andalucía’s crucial elections last Sunday, but with the opposition socialist party PSOE securing 47 seats, failed to gain a majority. Although the Partido Popular (conservative party) does have an absolute majority in Spain’s national parliament, in Andalucía analysts believe that despite the negotiations being far from easy, a coalition – between the PSOE  and the IU (United Left) – could well be on the cards.

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