Spain’s Basque Legislature Approves Kurdish Meeting

MADRID (Reuters)–The regional legislature of Spain’s Basque Country on Tuesday approved a meeting of the Kurdish "parliament in exile" in the region’s capital in July.

The Basque legislature–dominated by nationalists seeking independence from Spain–said in a statement the Kurdish organization would be allowed to meet at the regional parliament building in Vitoria.

The Kurdish group–which has its headquarters in Brussels and meets in various European cities every few months–is made up of more than 60 representatives.

Turkey considers the body a front for Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday in Ankara saying it had learned of attempts by the Kurdish group to gather in the Strasbourg parliament building. Ankara warned the European Parliament against hosting the meeting.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Ocalan–Turkey’s most wanted fugitive–has been refused entry to a number of European countries in the last month after unsuccessfully seeking political asylum in Italy.

Turkey’s ambassador to Spain met various Basque politicians last month to urge them not to allow the Kurds to meet in Vitoria–the capital of the autonomous Basque region–the local media reported.

A government official in Madrid said the national government could not go against the actions of one of its autonomous regions unless it was in violation of the constitution.

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