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The Barcelona city council's commissioner of international relations and promotion, Pau Solanilla, announced this Friday afternoon that Barcelona will resume its twin-city relationship with Tel Aviv, following a mayoral decree which has annulled the temporary suspension announced in February by the previous mayor, Ada Colau. The commissioner also announced that the current mayor, Jaume Collboni, will visit Palestine this same year, on his first international trip as the highest authority of the Catalan capital.


In February, the then-mayor, Ada Colau, opened a significant controversy by deciding, unilaterally and through a mayoral decree, to suspend the twin-city status that the city of Barcelona had established with the cities of Tel-Aviv and Gaza two decades ago, under mayor Joan Clos, a decision announced in the context of a public campaign denouncing the policies of the state of Israel. The mayor's decision was widely criticized in the municipal plenary session by the rest of the political groups, who refused on several occasions to support the break-off of relations, although Colau refused to budge and maintained the decree.

For this very reason, it already seemed possible that any mayor who succeeded Colau would decide to resume relations with the Israeli city. In this respect, Solanilla stated that Collboni's decision is another step in the so-called Endreça (or "tidy up") Plan that is being carried out by the new executive, explaining that this re-establishment of relations "occurs at a time of the beginning of the new school year, when the new government has begun to straighten out the city's policies and also to straighten out Barcelona's international positioning", which he defined as that of an "open, diverse, plural city and a bridge for dialogue with all cities". The commissioner also recalled that the re-establishment of relations has "wide support from the municipal plenary". Solanilla also affirmed that Tel Aviv represents "the best of progressive values" in Israel and pointed out, at the same time, that the commitment of Barcelona to Palestine is "unquestionable".

Request from the mayor of Tel Aviv

Last June, a few days after Jaume Collboni became the new mayor of Barcelona​, his counterpart in Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, made a formal request to restore relations, via a letter addressed to Collboni, which as well as congratulating him on his new position, expressly requested that he restore the twinning agreement between the two cities, as well as encouraging him to “deepen and strengthen” the ties between them, after they were damaged by Colau's decision to break off the arrangement. Huldai also took the opportunity to invite Collboni to visit Tel Aviv and showed his willingness to "help, advise and exchange ideas" that will improve the lives of the citizens of the two cities.