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Spanish PM To Meet Obama At White House

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is to meet President Barack Obama in Washington, culminating years of efforts to mend ties damaged by the Iraq war when George W. Bush was in office.

It is the first official invitation of a Spanish premier to the White House since Zapatero's 2004 announcement that he was withdrawing his country's troops from Iraq, arguing that the U.S.-led invasion was illegal.

That move infuriated the Bush administration, which had close relations with Zapatero's conservative predecessor, Jose Maria Aznar.

Zapatero's Socialist government welcomed Obama's election as an opportunity to mend relations.

Zapatero is to fly to Washington Monday evening and will meet Obama on Tuesday.

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