Spain's PM sides with Germany over importance of U.S. security role

FILE PHOTO: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez delivers a speech during a no confidence motion against the government at parliament in Madrid, Spain, October 22, 2020. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Pool via Reuters

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday backed Germany's view that Europe would not be able to provide for its own security without U.S. and NATO help, distancing him from a call by France for an independent European defence strategy.

"I would say I am more with the German vision of international relations," Sanchez said during a video conference on foreign policy held by the Krober Foundation when asked whether he backed the German or French stance.

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer last week rejected French President Emmanuel Macron's call for an independent European defence strategy, saying Europe would continue to rely on the United States and the NATO military alliance for security for decades to come.

Sanchez said both the European Union and the United States were stronger together, and the election of Joe Biden as the next U.S. president was a positive development for their relationship.

"We have a great opportunity after the U.S. elections to reestablish a positive agenda with the United States," he said.

Sanchez also said he was confident the EU would by the end of the year find a solution to overcome opposition from Hungary and Poland and secure the adoption of the bloc's 2021-2027 budget and its coronavirus crisis economic recovery package.

"I see no other option ... I am confident we will reach an agreement before the end of the year," he said.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, editing by Andrei Khalip and Timothy Heritage)

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