The President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, failed to clarify Monday whether his administration had officially declared independence from Spain and instead repeated his call for talks to resolve the ongoing constitutional crisis in the country.
In a letter to the Spanish Prime Minister 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, reports CNN.
Rajoy had set a deadline of 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) 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.
Catalonia had "earned the right" to become an independent republic, after 90 % of voters in the October 1 referendum chose to split from Spain, Puigdemont told the Catalan Parliament. 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 on Monday.
"Our call for dialogue is sincere and honest. That is why over 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.