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Spain could send another 200 troops to Afghanistan: report

The Spanish government may send an additional 200 troops for the allied mission in Afghanistan in response to a request from the United States, daily newspaper El Pais reported.

world Updated: Dec 02, 2009 16:52 IST

The Spanish government may send an additional 200 troops for the allied mission in Afghanistan in response to a request from the United States, daily newspaper El Pais reported on Wednesday.

The defence ministry is currently considering the possibility of sending the extra soldiers, who would bring the total number of Spanish troops in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to over 1,200, it said.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Tuesday that he would meet with members of parties with representation in parliament to discuss the deployment of reinforcements to Afghanistan.

The deployment of troops abroad would require the approval of parliament where Zapatero's Socialist Party is seven seats short of a majority in the 350-seat parliament. It relies on support from smaller regional parties to pass legislation.

US President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that Washington plans to send 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan in a bid to forge a quick end to the war against the Taliban.

US Vice President Joe Biden spoke Tuesday with Zapatero to discuss Washington's new strategy in Afghanistan and thank Spain for its contributions to the NATO mission in the country.

Spain's troops in Afghanistan are located in the west of the country. Most violence takes place in the south and east, the traditional bases of the ethnic Pashtun insurgents. But the Taliban has also been ramping up attacks in the relatively calmer west and north.