Spain PM says supports Iraq's 'sovereignty and stability'

AFP , Thursday 28 Dec 2023

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday he supported Iraq's "sovereignty and stability" during a visit to Baghdad, where he also met with Spanish troops.

Spain - Iraq
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, right, and Spain s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez attend a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023. AP


"My country, always at the request of the Iraqi authorities, will support the unity, sovereignty and stability of Iraq," said Sanchez during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani.

Spain has deployed more than 300 soldiers as part of an international anti-jihadist coalition and NATO's mission in Iraq, commanded since May by Spanish General Jose Antonio Aguero Martinez.

The coalition, deployed to fight the Islamic State group, has faced increasing attacks since the start of Israel's war on Gaza, most claimed by Iran-aligned groups opposing Israel.

Sanchez visited the Spanish troops at a military base located in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, where he thanked them on behalf of Spanish society for their "efforts and sacrifices in favour of international security and stability".

"In Iraq, Spain has demonstrated for many years now our solid commitment to something that seems to have been questioned in recent years: multilateralism," he said.

The Spanish premier, who was accompanied by a delegation of business leaders in his trip to Baghdad, also said he is dedicated to the development of trade between Spain and Iraq, which derives over 90 per cent of its income from oil and gas.

Since mid-October, Washington has documented more than 100 drone and rocket attacks against US and other coalition troops deployed to Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

The majority of the attacks in Iraq have been claimed by Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which opposes US support for Israel's air and ground invasion of Gaza.

Palestinian health ministry figures say the Israeli invasion has killed at least 21,110 people and injured more than 54,000, mostly women and children.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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