October 31, 2017 / 2:18 PM / a year ago

Belgium PM says did not invite ousted Catalan leader to Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan president ousted by Spain, did not come to Belgium on invitation of the country’s government, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Tuesday, adding that he would be treated as any other EU citizens.

Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel briefs the media during a European Union leaders summit meeting in Brussels, Belgium October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Puigdemont held a press conference in Brussels saying he accepted the snap election called by the central government in Madrid but called for judicial guarantees before returning to Spain.

“The Belgian government has not taken a single step to encourage Mr. Puigdemont to come to Belgium,” the office of Prime Minister Charles Michel said in a statement.

“The Belgian government has repeatedly called for a political dialogue to solve the crisis in Spain, in the framework of national and international order,” it added.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel

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