Belfast Telegraph

Adams talks call over ETA ceasefire

The Spanish Government should hold inclusive talks with Basque separatists ETA as soon as possible, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said.

Mr Adams welcomed Sunday's ceasefire announcement by the armed group and said the authorities should act quickly.

He added that the George Mitchell non-violence principles which had worked so well in Northern Ireland were also important to the Iberian conflict.

"It is now vital that the Spanish Government responds positively and grasps the opportunity to advance a peace process," he said.

ETA said it took the decision several months ago "to put in motion a democratic process".

The Spanish government has not responded, although it has previously refused to negotiate with the group unless it renounces violence and disarms.

ETA's campaign has led to more than 820 deaths over the past 40 years.

It has called two ceasefires in the past, but abandoned them both.

The Irish peace process is widely seen as a blueprint through which the conflict might be brought to an end.

There has previously been contact between the two regions in an effort to bring about a cessation of violence.

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