December 22, 2017 / 11:51 AM / a year ago

Former Catalan leader Puigdemont says is open to meet Spain PM for talks

MADRID, Dec 22 (Reuters) - The former leader of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont said on Friday he would meet Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy outside of Spain for talks a day after regional separatists won a majority in a regional election.

“I’m open to meet (Rajoy) in Brussels or in a different country within the EU that would not be Spain,” he said in televised speech in Brussels.

He also said he was open to return to Spain if guarantees were given that he could take his position as head of a potential new Catalan government.

Puigdemont is on self-imposed exile in Brussels since October after Rajoy sacked his regional government following an illegal independence referendum and proclamation of an independent Catalan republic. Many of his cabinet has since been jailed pending an investigation in to the independence drive. (Reporting By Carla Raffin; writing by Jesús Aguado; editing by Paul E. Day)

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