Basque Separatists Say ‘Ready to Disband’
MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) - Spain's Basque separatist group ETA has said it is ready to disband and enter talks with the French and Spanish governments if certain conditions are met, a Basque news site reported.
A summary of the new ETA statement, posted on Saturday the website of the Basque newspaper Gara, suggests that the group wants to negotiate its dissolution and disarmament in exchange for the transfer of about 700 jailed Basque members to prisons closer to their homes in the Basque country.
The full statement is due to be published on Sunday and may contain other demands.
ETA, founded in 1959, is recognized as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States. The group is known to have killed over 850 people in the past 50 years while fighting for an independent Basque state.
Weakened by a series of arrests in France and Spain in recent years and a loss of support by Basque people, ETA declared a permanent ceasefire last year, saying it wished to use "peaceful, democratic means" to achieve its goals.
Its last confirmed attack on Spanish soil was in August 2009 when two small bombs exploded on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca, causing no injuries.
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