Spain says dispute settled with US over spying claim

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Spain says dispute settled with US over spying claim
Spain's President Pedro Sánchez speaks at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai. Photo: Giuseppe CACACE/AFP.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Tuesday that a dispute with Washington sparked by the arrest of two Spanish intelligence officers for allegedly working for the United States has been settled.


The El Confidencial news site said Monday that two agents of Spain's National Intelligence Centre (CNI) were suspected of sharing information with the United States, and had been arrested at the request of an investigative magistrate.

The report was then confirmed by Defence Minister Margarita Robles and two other cabinet members, who did not give further details.

The news raised eyebrows as both Spain and the United States are members of NATO and the two countries have good ties even though Sánchez, a Socialist, governs in a coalition with hard-left parties often critical of Washington's foreign policy.

During an informal talk with foreign journalists at his official residence, Sánchez avoided criticising the United Stares over the alleged spying. He acknowledged that the case had caused unease in Madrid, but said the situation had been overcome, without giving details.

Asked about the case at a press conference on Tuesday, government spokeswoman Pilar Alegría said only that it was Spain's national intelligence agency that reported the officers to prosecutors.


She said the government would ensure "maximum cooperation" with the investigation into the affair.

The case reportedly came to light because the CNI noticed that two of its agents were consulting information that was not related to their assigned tasks.

It is not known what information may have been passed to the United States. So far US authorities have made no comments on the case.


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