Banned Basque party may join ETA peace talks
4 April 2006, MADRID — Batasuna, the banned political wing of the Basque terrorist organisation ETA, may join peace talks, the deputy prime minister hinted.
4 April 2006
MADRID — Batasuna, the banned political wing of the Basque terrorist organisation ETA, may join peace talks, the deputy prime minister hinted.
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega made the comment after José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero met with Basque regional prime minister Juan José Ibarretxe to analyse the permanent ceasefire declared by ETA nearly two weeks ago.
After the two hour meeting, Ibarretxe said he told the Spanish premier of his "sincere wish" to support an irreversible move towards peace.
For the first time, ETA declared a permanent ceasefire, raising hopes that it could mean the end of 38 years of violence which has claimed 817 lives.
Ibarrexte said the situation meant all sides should remain "calm and sensible".
He said the process to peace was not a matter for a different leaders, but the Basque people to try to find a way to end the violence.
Ibarrexte said the horizon presented "enormous hope".
He opposed the renewal of the Anti-Terrorist Pact, which was formulated by all parties to make a united political front against ETA and other terrorists.
He said it was "a thing of the past".
Ibarretxe insisted the banned political party Batasuna, which is the political arm of ETA, should be admitted to talks on the future of the Basque Country.
Fernández de la Vega gave a veiled hint Batasuna could be involved in peace talks.
She said though the route to finding peace should come through legal and democratic means, "it is possible that circumstances will arise which will allow for dialogue".
But in order to keep the support of the conservative Popular Party, she added that "peace does not have a political price".
Fernández de la Vega said it was essential to make sure ETA had given up violence.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news