Spain's foreign minister said Monday that he is open to sharing diplomatic, trade and cultural offices abroad with Latin American countries under certain circumstances.

At a ceremony in Madrid, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo propounded the idea as a way to make "worthwhile savings," have a greater presence overseas and promote cooperation among the Ibero-American community.

"Wherever an Ibero-American country or Spain doesn't see any justification for having its own representation, we will try to enter into collaboration agreements," he said.

Madrid has already begun collaborating that way within the European Union, and, as a first step, has closed its embassy in Yemen, moving Spanish diplomatic personnel to the EU mission in Sanaa.

Spain is the "pioneer" of this approach and other countries are studying whether to follow its example, according to Garcia-Margallo.

He noted the accord signed with Mexico, which will allow Spain to make use of the more-extensive Mexican network of consulates in the United States.

The minister said the accord comes in a perfect year because it is the quincentennial of the discovery of Florida, and the Spanish government wants to make use of the occasion to boost its relations with the United States, where Spanish is the first language for some 50 million people. EFE