U.S says Spain will continue terror fight

March 16, 2004 at 11:12 AM

NEW DELHI, March 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says Spain would remain steadfast in its fight against terrorism irrespective of the change in the government.

Speaking to reporters en route to New Delhi, Powell said: "I don't think the Spanish people are any more inclined to give any encouragement to terrorists or to give terrorists the slightest impression that they are not going to be engaged fully by the Spanish government no matter who is the prime minister, what party has formed the leading coalition.

"Spain has been beset by terrorists for many decades and they have been fighting terrorism long before it got on the international screen with 9/11."

Spain's new prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has reaffirmed his pre-election commitment to withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq.

In post-election interviews Zapatero criticized U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, saying, "Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush must do some reflection and self-criticism. ... you can't organize a war with lies."

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