Spanish foreign min. emphasizes "common values" in speech to OAS

Washington, Apr 29 (EFE).- Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo emphasized "political stability" in Latin America and the importance of taking advantage of close ties and "common values" on both sides of the Atlantic in a speech here Monday at the headquarters of the Organization of American States.

"If for the past 20 years there has been a certain instability in Latin America and great stability in Europe, today luckily stability is the rule in Latin America while in Europe, and I refer to the latest elections, we're witnessing the birth of populisms as a consequence of the (economic) crisis," he said.

At the OAS, of which Spain is an observer nation, Garcia-Margallo said that Madrid will continue being by "vocation and duty" the "ambassador" for Latin America in Europe.

"We share values, principles, a language ... We have evident initial advantages," he said, noting that despite the difficult economic situation, Spain is the second-largest investor in Latin America, behind only the United States.

Therefore, he added, "we would do badly in not taking advantage of those values and presenting ourselves as a bloc that wants to have its own voice in a world ever more dominated by powers outside our regions."

Spain's top diplomat will meet Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Later this week, the minister will travel to Miami to participate in the commemorative events for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.