UN chief opens new logistics centre in Spain

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday opened a new logistics centre in Valencia, eastern Spain, to help peacekeeping work and provide back-up for an existing base in Brindisi, Italy.

Operations had been dependent on the Brindisi operation for far too long, putting peace missions at the mercy of any problems that arose there, said Ban.

Crown Prince Felipe, who also attended the ceremony, paid tribute to the 3,000 Spanish soldiers taking part in peacekeeping operations around the world.

The Valencia communications centre has a start-up staff of 25, but that will build to 400, a UN spokesman said.

Ban also held talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Madrid on the UN's poverty-reduction strategy.

© 2011 AFP

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