De Klerk to consider ETA request to mediate in peace talks

20th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

South African former president FW de Klerk will consider mediating in the conflict between Basque separatists ETA and the Spanish government if formally asked, his spokesman said Monday.

"Some time ago de Klerk along with other Nobel laureates and international leaders supported the call earlier this year for the cessation of violence in the Basque region. He is happy to see this take form," Dave Steward said.

"He will consider mediation when the appropriate request has been made and after consulting with all parties involved including the Spanish government."

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 named four of the mediators for future talks: de Klerk, South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Northern Ireland nationalist leader John Hume and former Irish Republic president Mary Robinson.

De Klerk and Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their roles in negotiating an end to apartheid, while Hume won it with former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble in 1998 for their role in resolving the Ulster conflict.

Tutu's office said Monday the cleric was out of the country sailing between Casablanca and Ghana.

© 2010 AFP

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