Spain hopes to join NATO before elections in 1983

Spain intends to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization before its next general election in 1983, Foreign Minister Jose Pedro Perez-Llorca said. He said the government wanted to start the membership process after renegotiating its friendship treaty with the United States next year. He said the date for the NATO application would depend on the progress of talks with the European Economic Community on membership and with Britain on the future of Gibraltar, adding that Spain's membership would need only a simple majority in parliament to be approved. The main opposition Socialist Workers' Party has called for a referendum on the issue and threatened to cancel membership if it came to power in the 1983 election.

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