N.Ireland politician Hume rules himself out of Basque talks
Northern Ireland politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Hume on Monday ruled himself out of any mediation role between Basque separatists ETA and the Spanish government.
A spokesman for Hume's Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) told AFP: "John Hume is happy to support the Brussels Declaration on how to establish peace in the Basque Country.
"He has retired from active political life and as a result will not be making himself available for any peace talks."
On Sunday, ETA called for international mediation and vowed to go further to end the decades-old conflict for an independent Basque homeland, two weeks after Spain rejected its ceasefire for failing to renounce violence forever.
The armed group reportedly named four potential mediators for future talks: Hume, former South African president FW de Klerk, South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Irish president Mary Robinson.
© 2010 AFP