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Spain, Venezuela Sign Defense, Energy Accords

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has wrapped up a visit to Venezuela by signing a series of defense and energy deals with the Andean nation.

Prime Minister Zapatero and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Wednesday signed the agreements, which include sales of Spanish military transport planes and coastal patrol vessels to Venezuela.

Both President Chavez and Prime Minister Zapatero said the defense equipment will be used for peaceful purposes. Mr. Chavez said Venezuela would use the aircraft and vessels to patrol land and sea borders to prevent drug trafficking.

The two leaders also signed an accord that calls for Spain's Repsol oil company to invest in Venezuela. Another deal calls for Spain to build three ships, including an oil tanker, for Venezuela.