EU leaders call for political talks to solve Catalan crisis

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-19 22:54:56|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel arrives on the first day of the two-day EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)

BRUSSELS, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) leaders on Thursday called for dialogue between the Spanish government and the regional government of Catalonia to solve the Catalan crisis.

"I am calling for a political dialogue to resolve a political crisis. I am calling for a de-escalation," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said after arriving at the EU summit.

"I condemn all forms of violence and appeal for dialogue," Michel told reporters.

Luxembourgish Prime Minister Xavier Bettel stressed that Spanish law must be obeyed, agreeing on the Spanish government's stance that Catalonia's independent attempt stood unlawful.

"There is a constitution that must be respected," Bettel said before the summit. "I hope they are going to find a solution, political, diplomatic and they talk together. No other solution would be good," he added.

Catalonia's situation is not on the agenda of the ongoing two-day EU summit.

The crisis developed after about 2.26 million people took part in a referendum on independence on Oct. 1 despite the Spanish constitutional court ruling it illegal. An estimated 2.02 million reportedly voted in favor of "independence." Over 300 people were injured during violent clashes across the country on the day.

Spain's cabinet will hold a special session Saturday to approve the suspension of its Catalonia region's autonomy, and impose central rule in response to Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont's failure to clarify if he had declared Catalonia's "independence" from Spain.