Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has travelled out of Belgium for the first time after having returned there from Germany at the end of July. He made that move after a German court turned down his extradition to Spain on the charge of rebellion, only accepting to consider misuse of funds, at which point judge Pablo Llarena revoked the European Arrest Warrant against him.
Puigdemont landed in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, this Friday afternoon. He will spend the weekend there taking part in the international Beyond Borders forum which is being held on 25th and 26th August. The journey took place "without incident", sources say.
Josep Lluís Alay, director of the president's office, framed this visit as part of a "resumption of the international activity" to denounce repression in Catalonia and defend its right to self-determination. Puigdemont has travelled to Scotland at the invitation of the forum's organisers to speak in a debate at 3pm this Sunday. The event, entitled "Where Now For Catalonia and Europe", is to cover "the push for Catalan independence and the potential emerging democratic deficit in Europe".
Beyond Borders is a cultural and political event focused on exchange and dialogue between nations, people and cultures. This time, it will involve well-known academics and diplomats, especially from Europe and North America, in the areas of international negotiations, mediation, refugees and self-determination.
El President Puigdemont @KRLS ha arribat a Escòcia convidat al Fòrum diplomàtic @BeyondBorders__ per explicar el conflicte català. El President reprèn l’activitat internacional per denunciar la repressió que viu el nostre país i defensar el dret a l’autodeterminació dels catalans pic.twitter.com/1DGPuhcwB0— Josep Lluís Alay (@josepalay) 24 d’agost de 2018
The president announced his arrival in Scotland himself on Twitter with a photo of Edinburgh Castle. "We're restarting the international activity to fight for the freedom of the Catalan Republic," he wrote.
Acabo d'arribar a #Escòcia convidat pel Fòrum diplomàtic @BeyondBorders__ per explicar el conflicte català. Reprenem l’activitat internacional per lluitar per la llibertat de la #RepúblicaCatalana pic.twitter.com/VDfju4327l— Carles Puigdemont (@KRLS) 24 d’agost de 2018