A former Spanish ambassador to the United States urged his country Friday to forge closer ties with the U.S. since "strengthening relations" between the two countries is "recovering our history."

Javier Ruperez gave a conference Friday at Casa de America in Madrid on "The Hispanic Community at its Height in the United States:a Strategic Opportunity for Spain?"

The event was organized by The Hispanic Council, a think tank with offices in Washington and Madrid.

Ruperez did a rundown of Spain's history in the Americas and of the presence Hispanics have had in the United States since its origins, all the while stressing the importance of "recovering those roots."

More than 53 million Hispanics currently live in the United States, and the number is expected to continue growing over the coming years, but "there's still a lot to do" to consolidate their presence, according to Ruperez.

"The Hispanic community is in the midst of a reconquest and a new vitality in the United States," and the rise of its political importance can be seen in the key role it played in President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 election victories, the diplomat said.

Ruperez also praised the importance of the projects bringing Spain and the U.S. closer together since he considers it "a great strategic possibility" and that it's worth Madrid's while to maintain the "most fruitful level of relations" with Washington. EFE