KING FELIPE: Spanish monarch’s surprise visit to troops in Iraq on his 51st birthday

KING FELIPE VI has paid a surprise visit to Spanish troops in Iraq.

According to Spanish media, the monarch visited the Gran Capitan base in Besmayah, just outside Baghdad, to boost morale on the ground, as well as pave the way for future Spanish business opportunities as Iraq begins to stabilise.

While at the base, troops sang Happy Birthday to King Felipe, who was celebrating his fifty-first birthday.

The surprise visit, known about ahead of time only by Spain’s Minister for Defence and Prime Minister, comes as the country’s troops help tackle Daesh.

King Felipe told soldiers: “The relationship with Iraq will last, and will largely be for the inheritance you leave forever.”

He added: “Thank you for what you do and how you do it, for your professionalism and mentality in helping the Iraqi people who have suffered so much.”

Iraq is Spain’s second largest foreign supplier, with imports of oil reaching €1,243 million in 2016.

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