Clinton Takes In Spanish Castle Before NATO Summit
PALMA DE MAJORCA, Spain (July 5, AllPolitics) -- Before heading to a NATO summit at which a final decision will be made on which new countries will be invited to join, President Bill Clinton played tourist Saturday on the island of Majorca.
The president, accompanied by first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, opened an eight-day European trip with a visit to 14th-century Bellver Castle, which has a panoramic view of the Mediterranean resort island.
Told that the castle was once a prison, the Clintons laughed. "Almost makes you want to go to jail out here," the president said.
The king and queen were hosting the Clintons at Almudaina Palace, a 10th century Moorish castle. On Sunday, the president was to meet with Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.
The two-day NATO summit in Madrid is expected to end Tuesday with an extension of invitations to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to join the Western military alliance.
In a move that has disconcerted other some other NATO countries, particularly France and Italy, Clinton has objected to adding Romania and Slovenia to the alliance.
The president's reluctance stems in part from growing objections in Congress to increasing American military obligations abroad.
The Clinton administration maintains that the additional security and stability in Europe provided by NATO expansion are worth the $200 million cost.
Joining the president and his wife in Spain Saturday was their daughter, Chelsea, who had been touring Europe after her graduation from high school.
While still in Florence, Italy, early Saturday morning, Chelsea Clinton's security detail reportedly got into a scuffle with two photographers outside a disco where the first daughter was dancing.
The photographers claimed that they were shoved after taking pictures of Chelsea dancing. A duty officer at the Florence police station called the incident "just a little scuffle" and said no charges would be filed.
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