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Catalan president stops short of declaring independence, calls for further dialogue with Spain

In a long-awaited speech, Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont affirmed on Tuesday the right of Catalonia to be an independent country. But he notably stopped short of declaring the region an independent polity, calling for further dialogue with the Spanish government. By suspending the secession process, Puigdemont signaled an overture to critics and observers in Spain and across the European Union who feared the rise of separatism in the increasingly embattled 28-state bloc.
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