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US backs Spain's efforts to repair economy

Posted on Dec 07, 11:43AM | IANS

President Barack Obama's administration wants to "see Spain surmount its economic problems" and supports Madrid's efforts to that end, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs said Thursday.

"I can assure you that there is every interest on the part of the United States to have very close relations and to work on important common issues," Mike Hammer said at a press conference in response to a question about the course US-Spanish ties will take in Obama's second term.

"We want to see Spain surmount its economic problems," Hammer said, noting that Obama has discussed the situation with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

"We want to provide support and also find occasions where we can work together, and we're already doing so in many areas," the assistant secretary said.

Spain is suffering through a double-dip recession marked by a jobless rate of more than 25 percent.

Rajoy, who took office almost a year ago, telephoned Obama Nov 13 to congratulate him on his re-election.

The two men have met several times at multilateral summits and Obama invited the Spaniard for a White House visit, which is expected to take place early next year.