The Latest: Trump says Spain should remain unitedSeptember 26, 2017 6:57pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's meetings with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump says Spain should stay united.

Trump commented shortly before a planned Oct. 1 secession vote called by Spain's regional government in Catalonia.

Trump says at a White House news conference with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') that "Spain is a great country and it should remain united."

Rajoy opposes the coming vote, calling it "crazy." He says such a referendum would be illegal, if held, because there is no electoral committee to supervise the process.

Catalonia is one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions. Its capital is the Mediterranean port city of Barcelona, a favorite of tourists.

Trump says he thinks the people of Catalonia would want to stay with Spain.

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2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is offering U.S. support and prayers for those affected by a deadly attack last month in Spain.

Trump says America stands with Spain in confronting the evil that threatens humanity. He says both countries will continue to deny terrorists funding, territory and support for their "wicked ideology."

Spain was the victim of August attacks that killed 16 people in the tourist haven of Barcelona and a nearby town. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

At a White House news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY'), Trump also thanked Spain for joining the anti-IS coalition and training more than 30,000 members of the Iraqi security forces. Rajoy says Spain is the fourth-largest contributor to the effort.

Trump also praised Spanish contributions to art, architecture, music and film.

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1:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. and Spain are allies in the fight against terrorism.

Trump said at the beginning of a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') that the two countries are comparing notes and intelligence.

He says they are "very, very unified in the fight."

Spain last month was the victim of attacks that killed 16 people in the tourist haven of Barcelona and a nearby town. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Trump says Spain is a special country with incredible people.

Trump also mentioned his desire to renegotiate trade deals the U.S. has with other countries, but suggested that isn't the case with Spain.

On trade, Trump says he's had a "good nine months" with Spain.

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12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') will discuss trade and other issues.

The leaders are meeting at the White House on Tuesday, days before a critical secession vote Sunday in Spain.

Leaders in the region of Catalonia, which includes Barcelona, have vowed to hold a referendum on independence from Spain on Oct. 1. Spain's central government says such a vote would be illegal.

Neither Trump nor Rajoy mentioned the vote during brief remarks as they appeared before journalists in the Oval Office.

Rajoy says the two countries have good cooperation on defense and terrorism issues.

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12:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is welcoming Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (mah-ree-AH'-noh rah-HOY') to the White House days before a crucial secession vote in his country.

The regional government in Catalonia says it wants to hold a binding referendum Sunday on separating from Spain. But the Spanish government insists such a vote is illegal and promises it won't take place. Catalonia is one of Spain's 17 autonomous regions. Its capital is the Mediterranean port city of Barcelona, a favorite for tourists.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert recently said the U.S. has no position on the referendum.

She says the U.S. will work with any government or entity that comes out of the vote.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday she had nothing to add to the State Department's position on the issue.

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