Obama hails Juan Carlos’ “historic reign”

US president phoned the monarch ahead of the coronation ceremony this coming Thursday

Barack Obama and King Juan Carlos in February 2010.
Barack Obama and King Juan Carlos in February 2010.EFE

US President Barack Obama spoke with King Juan Carlos on Sunday to congratulate him on his “historic reign,” the White House has announced via a press release.

The Spanish monarch has decided to relinquish the throne in favor of his son Felipe, who will be crowned in Madrid on Thursday, June 19.

Obama thanked Juan Carlos for his “steadfast promotion of democracy in Spain and commitment to strong transatlantic relations,” the release read.

“The two leaders also affirmed the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Spain, which continue to deepen,” continued the statement.

Obama and Juan Carlos had lunch at the White House in February 2010. The outgoing monarch has personally known every US president since John F. Kennedy, an unusual occurrence among acting heads of state.

His good relations with the US have always been one of Juan Carlos’ assets. This gave him direct access to its presidents, something that Spanish prime ministers have not always enjoyed.

The future Felipe VI studied in Washington DC and is scheduled to deliver his first major international address before the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.

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