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Chairman Menendez Statement Regarding King Juan Carlos of Spain

Newark, NJ – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued this statement regarding King Juan Carlos of Spain:

“King Juan Carlos led his nation throughout a unique period of history defined by change and challenge as Spain transitioned from dictatorship to democracy. He fulfilled an indispensable role in strengthening the country’s institutions and uniting the Spanish people.  It is difficult to overstate the impact King Juan Carlos has had on modern-day Spain.

“On the international stage, King Juan Carlos’s leadership was felt worldwide, especially within the Spanish-speaking world.  He was also deeply dedicated to building a strong bond between the United States and Spain.  Together our two countries maintain a robust commercial and trade relationship, and are making joint sacrifices in the fight against international terrorism.

“For over five years, I had the pleasure to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the United States – Spain Council and throughout that time, it was evident that King Juan Carlos was a gifted and talented leader, revered in Spain and respected around the globe.  My role also allowed me to develop tremendous respect for Crown Prince Felipe who now assumes the throne with today’s announcement of King Juan Carlos’s abdication. 

“Crown Prince Felipe is a very impressive leader in his own right.  Though it will be difficult to match the historic importance his father played in Spain’s long history, I have no doubt he will distinguish himself in meeting the challenges his country faces in the same way and with the same success demonstrated by his father.  Having spent his college years in the United States and graduating from Georgetown University, I have no doubt that Crown Prince Felipe will also commit himself to strengthening the centuries-long relationship between the United State and Spain. 

“I wish King Juan Carlos good health and fulfillment during the next chapter of his storied life and extend sincere wishes of success to Crown Prince Felipe and his wife, Princess Letizia, in carrying forward the hopes and aspirations of the Spanish people.”