The Spanish senate approved a motion on Wednesday urging Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government to ban Islamic full-body veils in public places.

The vote, 131-129, was passed with the support of the conservative Popular Party and two smaller conservative regional parties, the CiU and UPN.

The motion specifically calls for a ban on the niqab, which leaves only the eyes uncovered.

Speaking to reporters after the vote, deputy leader of the Popular Party Maria Dolores de Cospedal called the vote "a very important step in favor of freedom and women's equality."

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