Trump, Rajoy commit to fighting threats to democracy

President Trump and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy committed to fighting various international threats to democratic values during a joint news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Both leaders acknowledged recent provocations from North Korea and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s regime, as well as radical terrorist groups as threats to democracy in both Spain and the U.S.

“Together Spain and the United States hope for peace,”  Mr. Trump said.

Rajoy echoed the president’s sentiments.

“Combatting terrorism was something we talked about at length,” Rajoy said of the working lunch he held with Mr. Trump earlier Tuesday, prior to the conference. The Spanish prime minister said that “both countries agree” on counter terrorism efforts, but added that they need to “increase commitment” in this realm.

Rajoy said that Spain has “taken measures that have reduced the diplomatic presence” of North Korea in his country, calling their actions “intolerable” and adding that “Spain will support any political decision” that may aid in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Mr. Trump called North Korea a threat “to the entire world.”

“We’ll see what happens,” Mr. Trump said of North Korea, without ruling out a military option against Kim Jong Un’s regime. Mr. Trump also blamed the existence of the North Korean threat on previous administrations going back a quarter century. He complained about his predecessors, whom he said “left me a mess,” in terms of the North. “But I’ll fix the mess,” he promised.

Addressing other threats from across the globe, both leaders called out Venezuela’s failing state.  

“The international community should be forceful with regards to Venezuela,” Rajoy said.

Mr. Trump added that he hopes Spain will join the United States in “sanctioning the Maduro regime.” The Trump administration announced new sanctions against Venezuela and several other countries in an updated travel ban on Sunday.

“What is happening in Venezuela is unacceptable,” Rajoy…

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