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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
Spain gives date on Iraq pull-out
Spanish troops arrive home from Iraq
Some Spanish troops have already arrived home from Iraq
All Spanish troops will be withdrawn from Iraq within a month, the Spanish prime minister announced on Tuesday.

"The plan is that by May 27 there will be no Spanish personnel on Iraqi territory," said Spain's new leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Earlier the Spanish military said it had completed its pull-out from the city of Najaf.

But the British and Italian leaders insisted they were not about to follow the Spanish out of Iraq.

Mr Zapatero said there were no longer any Spanish combatant forces in Iraq and that the remaining personnel were working on logistics related to their departure.

Rebuke

Spain's previous government sent about 1,400 troops to Iraq, despite widespread public opposition.

After his election last month, Mr Zapatero said he would bring them home as soon as possible.

Honduras and the Dominican Republic said they would also withdraw their smaller contingents.

US President George Bush chided Mr Zapatero for his decision, warning against giving "false comfort to terrorists".

'Sufficient troops'

On Tuesday Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, on a visit to London, said his country would see out its commitment.

"As far as my country is concerned, we are in Iraq because we have a mission and that mission is one that leads to democracy."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair left the door open to sending more troops to Iraq, to fill the gaps left by the Spanish.

"We keep the question of troops under review at all times," he said.

But he added: "The advice that we have is that we have sufficient troops to do the job."




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Lisa Hampele
"The decision by Honduras is a blow to the United States"



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