Spanish public broadcaster RTVE and Agencia Efe, Spain's international news agency, agreed here Friday to consolidate operations in several locations abroad.

Efe President Jose Antonio Vera and RTVE chief Leopoldo Gonzalez Echenique met in Madrid to sign the pact.

"To combine forces in times of crisis is fundamental to maintain the quality of our services," Vera said after the signing.

"This is an accord that seeks to save on costs, but also to grow in presence and visibility at the global level, both for Efe and for RTVE and, of course, for Spain," Vera said.

Efe will accommodate RTVE personnel at the news agency's bureaus in Mexico City, Bogota and Moscow as well as in Rio de Janeiro, if the broadcaster decides to station a correspondent in the Brazilian city next year.

The plan also calls for journalists at Efe bureaus in locations where RTVE is not represented to provide reporting for the broadcaster.

That arrangement will be tried first in Buenos Aires and, if all goes well, is to be extended to Havana, Tokyo, New Delhi and other foreign capitals where RTVE does not have a presence.

Efe is the world's No. 4 news agency and the largest Spanish-language service, with more than 3,000 professionals working in 120 countries. EFE