France, Spain set up joint anti-terror police

16th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

BARCELONA, Spain, Sept 16 (AFP) - France and Spain are to set up a joint police corps to combat Islamic extremist terrorism, a source in the French delegation at the ministerial Franco-Spanish talks here told AFP.

BARCELONA, Spain, Sept 16 (AFP) - France and Spain are to set up a joint police corps to combat Islamic extremist terrorism, a source in the French delegation at the ministerial Franco-Spanish talks here told AFP.  

There were no immediate details on the size of the force nor when it would become effective.  

It was announced the day after Spanish police arrested 10 people, most of them Pakistanis, suspected of involvement in Islamic extremism in an operation in the north eastern region of Catalonia.  

Ten Spanish and French ministers were meeting in Barcelona on Thursday to prepare the first bilateral talks between Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, who came to office five months ago, and France's conservative President Jacques Chirac on December 7 in the Spanish city of Saragossa.  

The two men met Monday in a three-way summit in Madrid with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder when Zapatero, seeking to place Spain back in the bloc's mainstream, directed a thinly-veiled barb in the direction of Washington by declaring that "the old Europe is brand new."  

He was referring to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's controversial comments labelling European opponents of the war in Iraq as being part of "Old Europe".  

Zapatero, who like EU heavyweights Paris and Berlin opposes the US-led war in Iraq, broke with the policies of Jose Maria Aznar, his conservative predecessor and strong backer of the US hard line on Iraq, after his surprise win in the March legislatives.   

The turnaround was triggered by voter disgust over the Madrid train bombings that month blamed on Islamic extremists that left 191 people dead. Many Spaniards saw the tragedy as a revenge attack for Aznar's solid backing of the US-led intervention in Iraq despite strong domestic opposition.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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