Photo: King Felipe VI and Juan Carlos
The international community congratulated Felipe VI on his investiture Thursday as Spain’s new king and paid tribute to the work of former monarch Juan Carlos during his 39 years as head of state.
“Spain is a valued ally of the United States, and we share strong ties, steeped in history. I look forward to working closely with King Felipe VI and continuing to strengthen this bond in the years to come,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement.
He also expressed gratitude to “King Juan Carlos I for his friendship and leadership in guiding Spain’s democracy and deepening the trans-Atlantic relationship.”
The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, offered “sincere congratulations” and best wishes to King Felipe VI and praise for Juan Carlos.
“The consolidation of democracy in Spain during his reign constitutes a defining contribution to the European project,” Van Rompuy said of the now-former king.
From Moscow, President Vladimir Putin sent congratulations to Felipe VI and expressed his hope that “relations between Russia and Spain will continue to develop fruitfully in line with the good traditions of friendship and mutual respect established during the reign of King Juan Carlos I.”
China’s president, Xi Jinping, also congratulated Felipe VI in a message that stressed the “enormous importance” Beijing places on its relationship with Spain, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.