Ahead of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s meeting with Trump on Tuesday, a Spanish official says they have received assurances from the US of support for efforts to stave off a planned October 1 Catalonia independence referendum.
Spanish Defense Minister Maria Dolores de Cospedal said at a briefing in Washington on Sunday that the Trump administration supports her government’s handling of the Catalonia situation, citing comments from her counterpart, James Mattis.
The comments, reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday, come after a week of crackdowns carried out by Rajoy’s administration on an independence referendum effort in the autonomous region. Government intervention in Catalonia has included the arrest of fourteen senior officials in police raids on regional government offices as well as the seizure of 10 million ballot papers.
Rajoy’s meeting with Trump is part of an as of yet unsuccessful campaign to drum up international support for his efforts to prevent the ballot initiative.