The President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, failed to clarify Monday whether his administration had officially declared independence from Spain and instead called for talks.
In a letter to the Spanish Prime Mariano Rajoy, Puigdemont asked for two months of dialogue over the status of the region in northwest Spain, which held a disputed independence referendum on October 1.
Rajoy had set a deadline of 10 am local time Monday for Puigdemont to say definitively whether an ambiguous speech he delivered to the Catalan Parliament last week in the wake of the referendum amounted to a declaration of independence.
Rajoy had put Catalonia on notice that, if it had officially declared a split, he would invoke provisions contained in Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which allow the central government to dissolve the Catalan administration and order new elections.
Puigdemont told the Catalan Parliament last week that Catalonia had earned the right to declare an independent republic, after 90% of voters in the October 1 referendum chose to split from Spain. But he suspended the effects of the declaration to allow for talks.
"The suspension on our side of the results that come out of the vote on 1 Oct, shows our firm commitment to find a solution, and avoid confrontation," Puigdemont wrote in his letter to Rajoy.
"Our call for dialogue is sincere and honest. That is why during the next two months our main objective is to invite you to have dialogue, and that all those international, Spanish and Catalan institutions and personalities who have expressed their will to help establish negotiations, have the opportunity to explore this option," he wrote.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team