Spain’s ETA ready to hold talks for disbanding
MADRID - Agence France-PresseSpain’s armed Basque militant group ETA said Nov. 24 it was ready to discuss disbanding with France and Spain if certain conditions are met, in a statement published on a Basque news site.
The group, which last year said it had abandoned violence after a four-decade campaign for an independent homeland that claimed more than 800 lives, said one outstanding issue was the transfer of Basque prisoners to jails closer to home.
ETA wanted to discuss “formulas and timetables” to bring home prisoners and Basque political exiles; disarmament and the break-up of its armed structures; and the demobilization of ETA members.
Until the statement, the group had refused to announce its dissolution and disarmament, as demanded by Spain and France. But weakened by a series of arrests in France and Spain in recent years, ETA said it was ready to “listen to and analyze” proposals from Madrid and Paris.
The two governments would have a “precise knowledge” of its positions, it added. In its statement ETA said the process it was proposing would allow for “the end of the armed confrontation.”
ETA has been placed on a list of terrorist organizations by the United States and the European Union and has been blamed for the deaths of 829 people.