June 2, 2018 / 11:18 AM / a year ago

New Catalan leader says targets independence, wants talks with new Spanish PM

FILE PHOTO: Newly elected regional leader of Catalonia Quim Torra (front) and his predecessor Carles Puigdemont attend a news conference in Berlin, Germany May 15, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

MADRID (Reuters) - The new leader of Catalonia’ government Quim Torra on Saturday said he was committed to achieving independence for Catalonia and wanted to enter into talks with new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to end a standoff between Barcelona and Madrid.

“This government is committed to moving towards an independent state in the form of a republic,” Quim Torra said after nationalists regained control of Catalonia’s regional government as a new cabinet was sworn in, automatically ending just over seven months of direct rule from Madrid.

Sanchez was sworn as Spain’s new prime minister earlier on Saturday.

Reporting by Jesus Aguado; Editing by Ingrid Melander

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