The Defense Agreement between Spain and the United States, which is due to expire on May 21, 2021, was automatically extended yesterday for another year, after neither country has expressed to the other in writing its intention to denounce it, six months in advance, as established in the agreement itself.
The decision of the Spanish authorities to maintain the agreement for another year was advanced by the newspaper El País and is due to the desire to negotiate with the new U.S. administration possible changes in the text that came into force in May 2013 and had a duration of eight years.
Neither Madrid nor Washington considers that there is enough time for a negotiation from the time the new president takes office until May 21, 2021. It will be a delicate negotiation, from which both countries hope to draw benefits.
The United States, which has deployed four destroyers to the Rota naval base, wants to add another two, with their crews, which would be 600 sailors, to facilitate their operations in the Eastern Mediterranean or the Black Sea, something that is not contemplated in the current agreement and would require a modification and its approval by the Spanish Parliament.
Spain, for its part, wishes to take advantage of the modification of an agreement that the Americans are very interested in, because of the facilities it offers them in the military and security aspects, to achieve progress in other aspects of bilateral relations, such as trade, which have been damaged in recent years.