Aquino Set To Meet Spain’s Queen Sofia

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno S. Aquino III will a host a dinner for Her Majesty, Queen Sofia, of Spain on Tueday in Malacañang.

Her Majesty arrived in the country yesterday afternoon starting a five-day official visit to the country to inspect the various development cooperation projects funded by the Spanish government through its development cooperation agency, the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional para es Desarollo (AECID).

She was accompanied by Alberto Virella Gomez, the Assistant Secretary for Development Cooperation for Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe; and 13 other officials of the Spanish government.

The Queen was met at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport by Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq and Philippine government officials headed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman, Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos Salinas, and Parañaque City Mayor Feliciano Bernabe Jr.

Included in the Queen's itinerary while in the country are visits to the National Library, the National Museum, and the University of Santo Tomas. She will also fly to Legaspi City in Albay as well as to Zamboanga City to visit AECID-assisted projects.

The Queen will end her visit on July 6.

According to the media brief provided by the Spanish Embassy, "The visit of Queen Sofia is a reaffirmation of Spain's commitment toward addressing the myriad developments and challengers the Philippines and the rest of the world are facing today."

"It is a positive reflection of the Philippines' long-standing and special partnership with Spain, most especially in the area of development cooperation," the brief added.

In 2011, the Spanish government's official development assistance to the Philippines amounted to a total of 28.9 million Euros in grants and loans. The implemented programs and projects are aligned with the development priorities of the Aquino administration, particularly in the areas of democratic governance and citizen's participation, basic social needs, environment, culture and development, gender and development, and the prevention of conflict and peace-building.

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