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Spanish gov't says reply from Catalan leader "not valid"
From:Xinhua  |  2017-10-16 19:15

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MADRID, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish government considers a letter it received Monday from Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont as invalid due to a lack of clarity.

In response to a request made by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last week for Puigdemont to clarify whether he declared independence of Catalan on Oct. 10, the latter said in his two-page letter that his decision to "suspend" the results of the Oct. 1 Catalan referendum showed a "firm willingness to find a solution and not confrontation."

He added: "Our will is to follow the path in an agreed manner both in questions of time as in manner."

The Catalan leader also asked for a face-to-face meeting with Rajoy and a period of two months in order to "explore agreements" and asked him to "not let the situation deteriorate further."

However, the letter does not specifically say whether or not he declared Catalan independence.

Speaking to reporters, Spanish Minister for Justice Rafael Catala said the response "doesn't seem to go" in the direction Rajoy had demanded.

"The question was clear and it appears that the reply is not so clear," he said in an opinion shared by Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis, who said Puigdemont's letter "does not constitute a reply."

"It does not have the clarity that was asked of him," said Dastis.