Human Interest

Spain’s King Felipe visits Washington

Washington, Dec 2 (EFE).- Twenty-seven years after graduating from Washington’s Georgetown University with a master’s degree in International Relations, Spain’s King Felipe VI was back Friday for the centennial of the institution’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program.

Accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calviño, the monarch was received by the university’s president, John J. DeGioia.

After a brief stroll around campus, Felipe was in the audience for a discussion between former CIA Director George Tenet – a Georgetown alumnus – and the dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Joel Hellman.

The king, who is an honorary member of the MSFS Board of Advisors, was chosen to be the keynote speaker at Friday night’s gala dinner marking the MSFS centennial.

Over the years, Felipe has maintained his connection to Georgetown, the oldest Jesuit institution of higher education in the United States.

He was referred on various occasions to the “memorable years” he spent in Washington while pursuing his degree.

Felipe made time for a stop at Georgetown on his first official visit to the US as king in 2015, presiding over a conference of Spanish scientists.

In 1997, when Felipe still bore the title of Prince of Asturias, Georgetown established the post of Prince of Asturias Distinguished Visiting Professor for Spanish university faculty.

Ahead of the gala dinner, King Felipe and Calviño visited the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where they had lunch with Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and met members of the staff.

Calviño is the chair of the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee, a key policy-making body.

“We are greatly honored to welcome King Felipe to the IMF,” Georgieva told reporters. “He has always been a voice of positivism and a great face for Spain.”

“We are very proud that he has chosen to come here and it is an indication that during difficult times, when people everywhere are anxious, having us coming together and sending a message of solidarity is so so very important,” the managing director said.

The trip is not a state visit, and King Felipe was not expected to meet with President Joe Biden, who flew out of Washington at mid-day Friday to attend an event in Boston.

The monarch and the US head of state met in June at the royal palace in Madrid during a NATO summit in the Spanish capital.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia were scheduled to make a state visit to the US in April 2020 at the invitation of then-President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, but the trip was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

EFE pem-pamp/dr

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