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The new US ambassador to Spain James Costos welcomed a section of Spanish high society at a reception on Monday to celebrate the start of his residency.
Accompanied by his partner Michael Smith, Costos meet with politicians, business leaders, fashion designers and football club owners.
The naming of Costos as ambassador has been a topic of debate in Spain.
He is openly gay and a fervent defender of animal rights, leading some commentators to question how well his ideas would sit in country where bull fights are still popular and gay marriage was only recently approved.
One of the most important guests was Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who approved the law allowing same sex marriage while he was prime minister.
In a speech at the reception, Costos said that President Obama had asked him to “intensify and develop the association between the two countries.”
The US has a major naval port in Rota, in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia.
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