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Spanish royals make first state visit to Americas

Mexico City:  Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia have begun a three-day trip to Mexico, making their first state visit to the Americas since their coronation.

President Enrique Pena Nieto yesterday welcomed the royal couple at the Campo Marte military field in Mexico City, where they were treated to a cannon salute and a military parade.

“This visit will serve to compare again the many things that 170 million Mexicans and Spaniards have in common, and the enormous potential in front of us,” Felipe said.

The state visit went ahead as planned even though Pena Nieto underwent emergency surgery on Friday to remove his gall bladder after a sudden inflammation.

He was discharged from the hospital on Sunday.

After the military event, the royals were honored as “distinguished guests” of the capital during a visit to Mexico City’s Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.

Felipe travelled to the eastern port of Veracruz in December to attend the Ibero-American Summit, but this is his first state visit since ascending to the throne in June 2014.

Felipe will address Mexico’s Senate today. Tomorrow, the king and queen will visit the northern state of Zacatecas for a cultural tour.

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