Madrid denies secret talks with ETA in Norway

9th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2006, OVIEDO — Spanish interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba denied a news report claiming Spain recently met with representatives of the ETA terrorist group in Oslo, Norway.

9 October 2006

OVIEDO — Spanish interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba denied a news report claiming Spain recently met with representatives of the ETA terrorist group in Oslo, Norway.

"There are no such contacts in Oslo and so the news is false," Perez Rubalcaba

His comments came after a report in the Spanish daily ABC over the weekend.

The paper reported that envoys from the government and ETA met recently in Oslo to pave the way for talks.

Perez Rubalcaba said that when there is a meeting with ETA, "the first to know will be the political parties in Parliament".

He added that "there is room to negotiate with ETA," but noted that the process will be "long, hard and difficult".

In June, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the start of contacts with the Basque terrorist organization on the basis of the "permanent cease-fire" the group has observed since late March.

Madrid hopes to put an end to separatist violence by ETA, which has killed more than 850 people over nearly four decades in its campaign to create an independent Basque nation from parts of northern Spain and southwestern France.

Earlier this week, the banned political party Batasuna, regarded as an extension of ETA, decried a lack of real advances in the dialogue and said the peace process remains in "grave crisis".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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