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Spain's ETA declares ceasefire: BBC

09-06-2010 08:13 BJT

LONDON, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Spain's armed Basque separatist group ETA said it will not "carry out armed actions" in its campaign for independence, the BBC reported on Sunday.

In a video obtained exclusively by the BBC, the group said it took the decision several months ago "to put in motion a democratic process."

The video showed three hooded ETA fighters are sitting behind a desk with the ETA flag pinned up behind them. The figure in the middle reads out a prepared statement, saying the group now wants to achieve its aims by peaceful, democratic means.

"ETA confirms its commitment to finding a democratic solution to the conflict," the statement said.

"In its commitment to a democratic process to decide freely and democratically our future, through dialogue and negotiations, ETA is prepared today as yesterday to agree to the minimum democratic conditions necessary to put in motion a democratic process, if the Spanish government is willing," it added.

The statement said, "We call on all Basque citizens to continue in the struggle, each in their own field, with whatever degree of commitment they have, so that we can all cast down the wall of denial and make irreversible moves forward on the road to freedom."

According to the report, ETA has been under pressure with leading members of the group arrested and growing calls from Basque political parties to declare a ceasefire.

ETA has called two ceasefires in the past, but abandoned them both. Now it is unclear whether it is declaring a permanent or temporary ceasefire.

The Spanish government has previously said it will only negotiate with ETA if it renounces violence. There has been no reaction yet from the Spanish government.

ETA, formed in 1959, seeks the establishment of an independent Basque state in the Basque region straddling the Spanish-French border. Over the past four decades, assassinations, kidnappings and explosions carried out by the group have claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 people.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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