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Spain’s prime minister says he supports Iraq’s “sovereignty and stability”

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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Thursday during a visit to Baghdad that he supports Iraq’s “sovereignty and stability” and also met with the Spanish military.

“Our country will always respond to the requests of the Iraqi authorities and support the unity, sovereignty and stability of Iraq,” Sanchez said at a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani.

Spain has sent more than 300 soldiers since May as part of the International Anti-Jihadist Coalition and NATO mission to Iraq, commanded by Spanish General José Antonio Aguero Martínez.

The coalition deployed to fight the Islamic State group has faced an increase in attacks since the Israeli-Hamas war began on October 7, most of them by Iranian allies opposed to Israel. It depends on the organization.

Mr. Sánchez visited Spanish troops at a military base in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone and expressed gratitude on behalf of Spanish society for their “efforts and sacrifices for international security and stability.”

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“In Iraq, Spain has for many years shown a solid commitment to what seems to have been called into question in recent years: multilateralism,” he said.

Iraq is becoming relatively politically stable after decades of conflict, but corruption and cronyism remain major obstacles in the oil-rich country.

Tensions have been high in Iraq, which is ruled by a party close to Iran, an ally of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, since Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel and subsequent air and ground strikes in Gaza.

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Since mid-October, Washington has recorded more than 100 drone and rocket attacks against U.S. and other coalition forces deployed in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Most of the attacks in Iraq are claimed by Iraq’s Islamic Resistance group, which opposes US support for Israel in its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Sánchez, who accompanied a delegation of business leaders on the trip to Baghdad, said he was dedicated to developing trade between Spain and Iraq, which derive more than 90% of their revenue from oil and gas.

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