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Spanish troops outin a month – Zapatero

Published on 27/04/2004

27 April 2004

MADRID – All Spanish troops will have left Iraq by 27 May, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said Tuesday.

Zapatero made the announcement as he formally explained to the Spanish parliament why he had decided to pull out the 1,300-strong contingent from Iraq.

The Socialist leader said: “By this date (27 May) all those troops will be in Spain or in international waters on their way to Spain.”

The decision to withdraw Spanish troops has brought anger from the Bush administration as well as condemnation from the conservative Popular Party, whose decision it was to send Spanish troops to Iraq when they were in government.
Zapatero also told parliament that no Spanish element of the multi-national Plus Ultra brigade will still be in Iraq by 27 May.

These troops have been stationed in the country for the past four months, when they replaced the first Spanish contingent.

Zapatero said: “Until 27 May, Spanish troops will be dedicated to the security, support and logistical aid directly related to the withdrawal.”

The prime minister also announced a reform of the law which would give parliament more of a say when Spanish troops are sent abroad.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

 Subject: Spanish news