Spain keeps its agents in Iraq

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Jimenez said Spain would “maintain a commitment there (Iraq). It’s just a question of deciding where and how.”

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who took office last weekend, irked the United States and its allies by announcing last Sunday that he would withdraw Spain’s troops as soon as possible, given that his demand that the United Nations take control of the post-war occupation of Iraq by June 30 was not going to be met.

Zapatero, like most Spaniards, opposed last year’s US-led invasion.

He also reportedly expressed Spain’s commitment to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan, where it has 125 soldiers.

However, defence minister Bono told Spanish national television late yesterday that a decision on Afghanistan had not yet been made.