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Brindis de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en la cena ofrecida por el Embajador Romero

EE.UU.(Albuquerque. Nuevo México), 20.10.2000

W

hen I received Ambassador Romero at the last Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony, he was kind enough to tell me about two initiatives of particular relevance to the relations between our countries. And of course you don´t need to guess too hard which they were !.

The first was the long-awaited culmination of a project in which the Hispanic Culture Foundation, of which I am Honorary President, was closely involved to say the least. I'm  refering to the inauguration of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in New Mexico.

The second was a new idea to me, although I have no doubt you Ambassador had been maturing it in your mind for some time prior to our meeting- and that was the creation of an Endowed Chair bearing my name at the University of New Mexico.

Both your convincing explanations on the excellence of those ideas and your personal faith and involvement in them, together with the timely support of our mutual friend Plácido Arango (unable to be here with us today), gave me little room for hesitance. Soon after I was delighted and thrilled to accept both offers, and today, a year after our conversation in the Reconquista Hotel in Oviedo, it gives me great pleasure to see that both initiatives have materialized.

The inauguration of the Endowed Chair and the Cultural Center constitute two further steps in the happy process of "reencuentro" that Spain and New Mexico commenced in 1998. What makes them especially important is that these are long-term projects, which means that our collaboration in culture, science and technology will move forward on stable and lasting foundations.

We therefore have reason not only to congratulate ourselves today, but to look to the future with optimism. As heir to the Crown, nothing could satisfy me more than to promote the understanding of Spanish culture  -which is after all an integral part of the culture of these lands- and to forge new channels for cooperation between Spanish and American scientists and universities.

Mr. Ambassador, I could hardly conclude this toast without referring to the magnificent relations between Spain and the United States, which have progressed tremendously in the last few years. It is my country's desire to see the friendship and collaboration that preside over our relations today become closer and stronger in the future, attaining new heights between two countries that share common historical ties and convictions.

Mr. Ambassador, I offer my sincerest thanks and congratulations to you. "¡Bravo por el trabajo bien hecho!". Let me now raise my glass and toast you and the success of both the Endowed Chair and the National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico.

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