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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks with journalists prior to an Informal Meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Riga, Latvia on January 18, 2015

    Protesters Will ‘Welcome’ Stoltenberg in Spain With Anti-NATO Rallies

    © AFP 2018 / ILMARS ZNOTINS
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    Anti-NATO protesters will hold several rallies on Wednesday across Spain amid the NATO secretary general's visit to the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Jens Stoltenberg arrived in the Spanish eastern Zaragoza province located in the community of Aragon earlier in the day to attend a military demonstration and parachute airdrop by a US airborne division as part of the NATO Trident Juncture military drills.

    "They hope that his [Stoltenberg's] arrival will be perceived by Zaragoza as a reason to be proud of the arrival of the empire's envoy. His visit, they say, will put us on the map. How important we are! Now everyone knows that here those who invade countries, massacring villages and plundering natural resources are being trained," the Zaragoza anti-NATO Platform said in a statement on its web site.

    The activist declaimed that the Aragonese would not celebrate the arrival of the leader of an alliance that pollutes Spanish soil with its ammunition and endangers the local population with shooting ranges while, at the same time, killing thousands of innocent people abroad as it had done in Yugoslavia, Libya and Afghanistan.

    "No criminal should walk smiling and unpunished, in our city or anywhere else. We can not allow it and will provide those who offer us miserable allowances in exchange for death and destruction with the welcome they deserve. Let's take it to the streets to say loud and clear 'Mister Stoltenberg, GO HOME!!,'" the platform declared.

    The rallies in the eastern cities of Zaragoza, Huesca and the town of Teruel in central Spain are expected to begin at 7.30 p.m. local time (18:30 GMT), in western Spanish city of Valladolid at 8 p.m. The Human Rights Association of Andalusia has called of the residents of Cadiz in southwest Spain to attend an anti-NATO demonstration at 6 p.m.

    The military alliance is showcasing its preparedness in the October 21 — November 3 active phase of the Trident drills taking place in Spain, Italy, and Portugal, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Over 36,000 troops, 140 aircraft, 90 vessels and submarines from the 30 members and partner countries of the bloc are involved in what is the largest NATO exercise in over a decade.

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    Tags:
    NATO, military drills, protests, Jens Stoltenberg, Zaragoza, Spain
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