Malta does not recognise Catalonia's declaration of independence and will continue to respect the territorial integrity of Spain, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said this evening. 

In a statement reiterating its support to the Madrid-based government, the ministry said it was observing developments "with concern" and that it wanted to see the crisis resolved through the country's existing constitution. 

Catalonia today declared its unilateral independence from Spain, with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy responding by saying rule of law would be restored in Catalonia. Within hours, he had sacked the region's parliament and police chief, ordered snap regional elections and moved to impose direct rule on the region. 

WATCH: Catalonia declares independence from Spain

Malta's refusal to recognise the Catalan secessionist movement's claims mirrors positions taken in most major capitals. Germany, France and the United States, among others, were quick to say they did not recognise the Catalan declaration. 

In a Times Talk interview held earlier this month, Spain's ambassador to Malta Jose' Pons insisted that the rule of law had to come above all else and that the Madrid government had a clear mandate to block voting for an unconstitutional referendum held in Catalonia. 


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