Basque separatist says ETA should declare 'permanent truce'

17th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Arnaldo Otegi, the jailed top leader of the banned political wing of ETA, said the Basque separatist group should declare a permanent ceasefire, in an interview published by El Pais daily on Sunday.

Otegi, a former spokesman for Batasuna, said if he had the ETA leadership before him, he would ask them to eschew violence and declare a "unilateral and permanent truce which can be verified by the international community."

"There is no other path to independence other than those that follow the peaceful and democratic paths," he said in a long interview to the Spanish newspaper.

Otega, who was jailed for two years in March for "glorifying" terrorism in remarks he made at a 2005 rally in memory of a jailed ETA member, Jose Maria Sagarduy, said ETA was not likely to resort to violence as it had announced "the end of armed action.

"But if these incidents resume (Batasuna)... will oppose them, he said.

Batasuna was outlawed in 2003 for its links with ETA, which is held responsible for nearly 830 deaths in a 41-year campaign for independence for the Basque Country of northern Spain and southwestern France.

© 2010 AFP

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