Spain’s Terrorist Group: Ready to Discuss Disbanding

Posted November 24th, 2012 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Spain's armed Basque separatist group ETA says it is ready to discuss disbanding and disarming with the French and Spanish authorities.

The group posted a statement on its website Saturday, saying that it is ready to negotiate a definitive end to military operations and a handover of its arms if certain conditions are met. Among those is the transfer of Basque prisoners to jails closer to home.

Until Saturday's statement, ETA had refused to agree to dissolution and disarmament as demanded by the French and Spanish governments.

But last year, ETA said it had abandoned violence after more than four decades of campaigning for an independent homeland in northern Spain and an adjacent part of France. The violence has killed more than 825 people.

The separatist group has been weakened by a series of arrests of its key leaders in France and Spain in recent years.

ETA declared a cease-fire in January of last year, but the Spanish government immediately rejected it, saying ETA made no pledge to disarm.

Spain, the European Union and the United States regard ETA as a terrorist group.