Spain seeks invitation to Washington economic summit
Spain was stepping up diplomatic activity Thursday in a push to be invited to an economic summit to take place in Washington in mid-November, reported dpa.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was scheduled to travel to the Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) in Beijing, where he would meet European leaders and seek their backing for an invitation to the Washington summit, media reported.
Spain was carrying out "intense diplomatic activity on all levels," according to the daily El Pais.
The US has invited only members of the G-8 group - which Spain is not part of - plus developing countries with the largest economies to the summit, dealing with the challenges of the global economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Zapatero argues that Spain should also be included, because its economy is the eighth-biggest in the world.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso have backed Spain's position, but it is up to the United States to take a final decision on the guest list.
Spain has long sought a foothold among the most powerful nations of the world.
Zapatero's conservative predecessor Jose Maria Aznar enjoyed a period of close relations with the United States, with Madrid giving Washington strong support in the Iraq conflict.
Socialist Zapatero withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq after winning the 2004 elections, a gesture which led to a cooling of Spain's relations with the Bush administration.