The Spanish government on Friday criticized a decision by Barcelona's mayor to cut the city's ties with Israel, calling it a "unilateral move" that would not bring "anything good", AFP reported.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau stated last week that she is suspending all of the city’s ties with Israel, citing what she called “the repeated violations of human rights of the Palestinian population and non-compliance with United Nations resolutions.”

She added that Barcelona will maintain relations with “Israeli and Palestinian entities that continue to work for peace and against apartheid.”

Barcelona’s city council this week held a vote rejecting Colau’s stated intention to un-twin the city with Tel Aviv and cut ties with Israel, but the vote was only symbolic, as council members do not have the power to veto Colau’s decision.

Speaking at an event in Barcelona on Friday, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares responded to the move, calling it a "unilateral decision, and I understand an almost personal decision, by the mayor".

"I believe that Barcelona's vocation is to be an open city, as Spain is," he added, according to AFP.

"I do not believe that anything good is achieved by suspending, cutting, expelling, nor is a dialogue built between Israel and Palestine," said Albares.

Madrid’s mayor, José Luís Martínez-Almeida, last week offered to step up as a replacement for Barcelona.

In a letter to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and during a press conference, Martínez-Almeida said the twinning is a “great opportunity to show Madrid’s commitment to strengthening relations with a democratic and a law-abiding state like Israel.”

Barcelona’s announcement is the latest in a series of anti-Israeli motions that have been adopted on the regional and municipal levels in Spain in recent years.

In June of last year, Catalonia's parliament passed a resolution recognizing Israel as committing “the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people”, and calling on both Catalonian and Spanish governments to not render “aid or assistance” to Israel.

In 2018, the City Council of the Spanish town of Sagunto voted in favor of joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, declaring itself an “Israeli apartheid-free space.”

A week earlier, councilors in the city of Pamplona, the capital of the Navarre province, called on the Spanish government to stop its arms trade with Israel and on their municipality to declare Israeli officials as "persona non grata" until Israel stops its "oppressive policy against the Palestinian people".

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)