Mexico congratulates Spanish P.M. on election outcome

Mexico's foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard in a press conference on July 5, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. EPA- EFE FILE/Sashenka Gutiérrez

MEXICO CITY.- Mexico’s foreign secretary offered best wishes Monday to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is expected to remain in power after his party won a plurality in snap general elections over the weekend.

«Congratulations to Spain for their democratic elections yesterday and our best wishes to Pedro Sanchez and the new Government that will be formed now. Congratulations!» Marcelo Ebrard wrote on Twitter.

During his morning press conference, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador congratulated Sanchez’s Socialists for their performance in Sunday’s balloting, although he refrained from commenting on the political situation in Spain.

Lopez Obrador said he would not get involved in «matters that concern other peoples» and insisted that his administration wants to have a good relationship «with every government in the world.»

«We will respect the constitutional principles of non-intervention and self-determination of other countries,» the president said.

Sanchez had been invited by Lopez Obrador to the National Palace in Mexico City on Jan. 31, becoming the first foreign leader to meet with the Mexican president.

During that meeting, the two men expressed their intention to have progressive governments on both sides of the Atlantic, but the relationship cooled in March when Lopez Obrador demanded an apology from Spain for alleged injuries the Spanish conquest has caused to present-day Mexico.

The government of Spain and political leaders subsequently refused to apologize to Mexico for Spain’s actions 500 years ago.

Sanchez said then Lopez Obrador violated «protocol» by making the letter demanding an apology from Spain public but affirmed that the relationship with the country is «greater» than that with the Mexican president himself.

Actually, the Mexican leader did not speak publicly on the matter until after the letter was leaked to Mexico City newspaper Reforma.

Spain’s prime minister said then that the bilateral relationship is «far greater than Lopez Obrador and myself. There is something special between Spain and Mexico, and I would say it’s mutual.»

The Socialists, who have headed a minority government since last June, received 28.69 percent of the votes cast in Sunday’s general elections increasing their representation in Parliament from 84 seats to 123.

Despite their gains, however, the Socialists will need support from other parties to craft a governing majority in the 350-seat lower house.

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