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25 May 2012 Edition

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ETA move for talks rejected by Spain

THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT has rejected a new move towards consolidating peace by Basque militant group ETA since it announced a “definitive end” to its armed campaign on 20 October of last year.

In a new statement issued in May, ETA says it has appointed a delegation to hold direct talks with the governments of Spain and France to try and move the peace process forward and find a “definitive solution” to the “ongoing conflict”.The International Verification Commission reported in early May that ETA was abiding by its cessation and ready for dialogue.The reaction by Madrid has been negative and disappointing, though. In an echo of the Irish Peace Process, Interior Minister told the Spanish parliament in Madrid that the only communication he expects of ETA is an announcement of its unconditional disbandment.The Abertzale Left Basque political network says that the ETA initiative is still a new and important step that should be responded to:

“Now it is up to the Spanish and French governments to address a process of dialogue without further delay. This process must be structured and should be monitored and assisted by the international community. This is the only way to reach a final settlement.”

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