Ibarretxe to start 'discreet' talks with banned Batasuna

30th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2005, SAN SEBASTIAN — The Basque regional prime minister is to start talks with the banned political party Batasuna and other groups in a hope of reaching a peace deal.

30 August 2005

SAN SEBASTIAN — The Basque regional prime minister is to start talks with the banned political party Batasuna and other groups in a hope of reaching a peace deal.

Juan José Ibarretxe said he will begin a series of "discreet" but "not secret" meetings with party leaders towards finding some "normalisation" in the Basque Country.

Batasuna, which was banned three years ago, is the political arm of the terrorist organisation ETA.

Ibarretxe, who was starting the new political term after the long summer break, said at a press conference he hoped that this could lead to "dialogue, agreement and decisions".

Josu Jon Imaz, leader of the left-wing Basque nationalist EBB party, said he hoped these talks would help boost "bridge-building, dialogue and confidence" in all political groups, from the conservative Popular Party to Batasuna.

Imaz has not made an end to ETA violence a condition for peace talks to start.

ETA has killed more than 800 people in more than 30 years of an armed campaign for greater independence for the Basque Country from Madrid.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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