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The "obligation" of Spain's new diplomats is to project the "true image" of Spain around the world. That's what king Felipe VI said this Monday during the graduation ceremony for the latest class at the Diplomatic School. The monarch told them they have to "defend the interests of Spain and spread its image", an image he defined as being of "a democratic, free, modern, caring and tolerant country open to the world".

The day after the announcement of a campaign to counter the Catalan independence movement abroad,  the king said diplomats are "always called on to defend and promote" a country "defined by the principles and values of our Constitution". He asked them to "always remember that the state is all of us, and that collaboration with the experts of the other bodies of the administration, and even the private sector, will guarantee you a more effective and efficient result".

The ceremony also involved Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell, who made very similar comments to the monarch: "Spain [is] plural and cosmopolitan, an open country, [open] to immigration and innovation, to all culture, dynamic, investing, modern, with a diverse and integrating society".

The minister listed the "numerous questions" the new diplomats will have to face, notably leaving out the crisis in Venezuela. On the other hand, he did mention Brexit and relations with the USA which are "complicated" because "the north Atlantic is in full drift". Indeed, he went as far as talking about the "first steps of a transatlantic divorce".

This is the 70th class to graduate the Diplomatic School, comprising 15 men and 10 women.