Spain and France united in fight against ETA

7th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

ZARAGOZA, Spain, Dec 7 (AFP) - France voiced its "total determination" to cooperate with Spain in the fight against armed attacks by Basque separatists as an annual Franco-Spanish summit got under way here Tuesday.

ZARAGOZA, Spain, Dec 7 (AFP) - France voiced its "total determination" to cooperate with Spain in the fight against armed attacks by Basque separatists as an annual Franco-Spanish summit got under way here Tuesday.

French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin, flanked by his Spanish counterpart Jose Antonio Alonso, addressed a press briefing in Spanish, describing the "total determination as much of France as of Spain" to coordinate efforts to fight the Basque separatist group ETA.

Alonso said the French pledge was "good news for Spain, which considers French collaboration as essential for bringing an end to ETA terrorism."

The Spanish minister pointed to recent key arrests in France, while Villepin said cooperation had become "even stronger" since the two countries set up joint investigative teams devoted to countering Basque terrorism.

More than 100 arrests have been made this year, including that of political leader Mikel "Antza" Albizu Iriarte.

The ETA has been blamed for the deaths of more than 800 people in its more than three-decade campaign for an independent Basque homeland straddling the Pyrenees between France and Spain.

On Monday, seven low-intensity bombs went off all over Spain, days after another series of bombs exploded in Madrid.

The group's last fatal attack was in May 2003 when two policemen were killed in the northern province of Navarra in a car bombing.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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