October 2, 2017 / 10:19 AM / a year ago

Germany on Catalonia independence vote: Separatism doesn't solve problems

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s deputy foreign minister said on Monday that developments in Catalonia were “worrying” and separatism was not the answer after a violence-marred independence vote was held in the northeastern Spanish region on Sunday.

German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth holds a news conference at the German consulate after visiting the Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel at Silivri prison in Istanbul, Turkey, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

“Separatism doesn’t solve any problems,” said German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth. “All EU members should respect and strictly adhere to the principles and rules of the rule of law and democracy.”

Roth also said political conflicts in the European Union should be solved via dialogue rather than with violence on the streets.

“Both sides need to say they are prepared to do this,” he said after a violent police crackdown on the independence vote.

A German government spokesman on Monday denied Spanish media reports that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had spoken to Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone on Sunday.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Andrea Shalal

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