Spain has unexpectedly leapt to the top of the foreign policy issue list this week after John McCain refused to commit to a meeting with Spanish president Jose Luis Zapatero, during an interview on Spanish radio.

The Huffington Post reports that the McCain camp is backing up the Senator’s statement, confirming that McCain had knowingly rebuffed the suggestion of a meeting. The statement also attempted to downplay suggestions that McCain hadnt’ been aware of who Zapatero was when asked the question:

“‘The questioner asked several times about Senator McCain’s willingness to meet Zapatero (and id’d him in the question so there is no doubt Senator McCain knew exactly to whom the question referred). Senator McCain refused to commit to a White House meeting with President Zapatero in this interview,’ the Senator’s foreign policy adviser Randy Sheunemann told the Washington Post.

“Sheunemann’s answer is likely to be cause deep ripples within the diplomatic community, as it represents a more aggressive and antagonistic approach than that deployed by the Bush administration. It also promises to be hotly contested, as a review of the McCain interview suggests that the Senator was confused as to who Zapatero actually was.”

Read the full story here.