In an audience with visiting American Jewish leaders from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Spanish President Mariano Rajoy noted important initiatives his government has taken to build trust with world Jewry. These steps include facilitating public knowledge of the events that led to the expulsion of the Jews five centuries ago, and preserving and reviving the rich heritage of Spanish Jewry, marking international Holocaust Remembrance Day, combatting anti-Semitism and crimes against humanity, establishing the Sefarad-Israel Center to cultivate understanding of Israel and the Jewish community, and passing legislation facilitating citizenship forJews with Spanish Sefarad ancestry. "Our common roots, imbued with new life, hold promise for a bright new future", he told the delegation at the Moncloa Palace audiences. Spain is emerging from its economic crisis, he said, and looks toward the future with hope. He noted close US-Spain bilateral ties, close cooperation on defense issues as evidenced by the arrival of the first of four American destroyers that will be stationed in Spain as part of the NATO defensive shield, as well as the countries common interests in the Mediterranean region.
In exchanges with participants, the President discussed a variety of issues, including Iran's nuclear threat, expanding Spanish-Israel cooperation and security in other areas and the need to counter the efforts in Europe to boycott Israel. The Conference of Presidents delegation was in Spain before it's annual Israel Leadership Mission.