A FREEDOM of information request has confirmed that Nicola Sturgeon will make an official visit to Catalonia.

The Herald reported on minutes of a meeting between Sturgeon and Catalan president Quim Torra at the First Minister’s Bute House residence early last month.

They confirm what Torra told The National at the time, when he revealed that his Scottish counterpart had accepted an invitation to visit Barcelona.

Torra had described the meeting with fellow pro-independence leader Sturgeon as "very cordial".

The Catalan Government has now said it hopes to set a date in the coming weeks, after its summer recess.

The newly released minutes, which The National has also seen, reveal that the two governments agreed during the meeting to strengthen trading links.

Catalonia's Secretary of Foreign Affairs is also to share his experiences on creating a national investment bank.

The Scottish Government will offer lessons learned on holding a referendum through the Edinburgh Agreement process.

The minutes say the two leaders discussed the “challenging and complex situation” in Catalonia.

"They agreed that the way forward for Catalonia must be through peaceful and democratic solutions involving dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan authorities, respecting the right to self-determination of the Catalan people.

“The President extended an invite to the First Minister to visit Barcelona, the First Minister indicated she would be delighted to do so.”

The Bute House meeting was the first high-level discussion between the Scottish and Catalan governments since Alex Salmond visited Barcelona in 2008.

The visit will mark the increasing strength of ties between Scotland and Catalonia.

A spokeswoman for the Catalan government said: “It’s true that the last meeting between President Torra and the First Minister was a warm meeting and they agreed on a lot of issues and there was a good relationship between them. The aim [of the visit] is to strengthen that.”

In a statement after Sturgeon and Torra met, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Both leaders agreed that in 21st century Europe issues of self-determination must ultimately be addressed through democratic referendums.

"The 2014 Scottish independence referendum agreed between Edinburgh and London is the best example of such a process, underlining the fact that issues of constitutional sovereignty should always be resolved through peaceful and democratic means."

Torra had been in Edinburgh to discuss Clara Ponsati, the St Andrews University Professor then facing extradition to Spain on charges of rebellion and abusing public funds.

Spanish judges later threw out the case against her and the extradition case was dropped.

Torra was sworn in as Catalan president in May after the previous Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, went into exile to avoid arrest by Spain.