Gómez Castro with Ambassador Jerôme Bonnafont./ Foto: Embassy of France
The Diplomat. Madrid
French Ambassador to Spain, Jerôme Bonnafont, has awarded the emblem of Knight of the National Order of Merit to Elena Gómez Castro, deputy general director for Security and Peacekeeping Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for her work in favour of the cooperation between the two countries in matters related to Defence and Security.
The award of the decoration took place on Monday at the residence of the French Ambassador, and the event was attended by different personalities, among them, the secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ignacio Ybáñez, the director of the National Intelligence Centre, Félix Sanz Roldán, and the former Spanish Ambassador to Paris, Carlos Bastarreche.
When presenting the award, Jérôme Bonnafont highlighted the work developed by Elena Gómez, especially regarding those matters related to the operations in Mali, the Central African Republic or Afghanistan, where the Spanish and French troops have worked together. The ambassador described the diplomat as “an essential interlocutor” that has allowed to shape, within the bilateral dialogue, the “strategic guidelines of the European Defence policy”.
Bonnafont used the opportunity to underline the French-Spanish work as regards maritime security, “which has contributed, to a large extent –he said-, to the adoption of a strategy in that field at the European level”, and concluded: “Spain is asserting itself as an essential partner for France as regards Defence, because it shares our strategic interests in the strip of the Sahara and the Sahel, because it is committed to the defence of the peace and the security in Africa and because it adopts a wilful perspective in the construction of the Europe of the Defence”.
Elena Gómez Castro has devoted a great part of her career to matters related to security and disarmament, and, between 2008 and 2011, she worked as an advisor for the minister of Defence.