RealNews

World leaders expected to close ranks on terrorism at mass for Madrid dead

Spain prepared to welcome a dozen world leaders to a memorial mass for the 190 identified victims of the Madrid train bombings that was expected to produce a closing of ranks against terrorism. The Spanish Socialist party said its leader and prime-minister-elect, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, would take the opportunity of Wednesday’s ceremony to meet major EU partners as well as US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Dignitaries due to attend the mass in Madrid’s Almudena cathedral included British Prime Minister Tony Blair — the strongest supporter of the US-led invasion of Iraq — and two of its most prominent opponents, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Blair was due to dine on Tuesday with Spain’s outgoing conservative prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, who has criticized Zapatero’s decision to pull Spain’s 1,300 troops out of Iraq by June 30 as “a most grave mistake.” Full Story

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