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Reader feedback: Attack has not influenced Spanish policy in Iraq

Re: Will terrorists strike in Slovakia?, Editorial, March 29 - April 4, Vol 10, No 10

As a regular reader of The Slovak Spectator, I appreciate your weekly as a balanced source of information on Slovakia that is extremely valuable for expatriates.

I read with great interest your editorial Will terrorists strike in Slovakia?, included in the issue published on March 29. As Spain's reaction to the recent terrorist attack in Madrid was mentioned, I feel obliged to make some remarks on the position of my country in order to dissolve some misunderstandings.

Neither the Spanish government in office nor the leadership of the Socialist Party, winner of the parliamentary elections held on March 14, have questioned the presence of the Spanish military in Iraq until June 30, the day when its mandate ends. On the other side, no Spanish authority has ever made a commitment to extend this presence beyond that date.

After its electoral victory, the Socialist Party reiterated its well-known position that the Spanish military presence in Iraq needs a clear UN mandate. This position predates the terrorist attack in Madrid. It was included in its electoral platform. In fact, this position has been supported by the Socialist Party ever since intervention in Iraq was debated. Therefore, it is not correct to say that Spain has reconsidered its position in Iraq as a consequence of the terrorist attacks in Madrid.

The Socialist Party has made known its intention to increase the Spanish contingent in Afghanistan as a contribution to the international fight against terror.

To hint that the Spanish have tried to appease terrorism is unfair to the people of a country that has suffered this plague for decades. The massive rallies against terrorism that gathered more than 11 million people are a clear demonstration of the will of the Spanish people to combat terrorism and do it through the unity of all democrats.

Alfonso Díez Torres,
Spanish Ambassador to the Slovak Republic

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