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Special Dossier International Conference ETA´s Ceasefire Declaration

INDEX International Conference to promote the resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country...................................................................................................................................... 4-6

Declaration by International leaders................................................................................................................... 5-6

Statement from the Carter Center on reconciliation efforts in the Basque region......................................6

Statement by Tony Blair..............................................................................................................................6

Statement by Senator George Mitchell........................................................................................................6

ETA’s declaration and reactions.......................................................................................7 - 20

ETA’s Declaration.................................................................................................................................................... 7

Reactions from Basque Country and Spanish state

Abertzale Left’s valoration of ETA’s statement....................................................................................... 8-9 Complete speech of the President of the Government, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, assessing the communiqué from the ETA organization...........................................................................................................9 Reactions of the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy........................................................................... 9-10

Reaction of Mariano Rajoy to ETA’s Communique statement................................................................... 10

Reaction of the PNV to ETA’s communiqué statement ........................................................................ 10-11

International reactions to ETA’s statement

Tony Blair and Gerry Adams....................................................................................................................11-13

International personalities and institutions.......................................................................................... 13-17.

Interviews with Bertie Ahern and Brian Currin....................................................................................... 17-19.

Financial Times editorial October 24..........................................................................................................19

South American Governments...................................................................................................................20

Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

Special Dossier International Conference ETA´s Ceasefire Declaration

INTRODUCTION ETA announced the definitive cessation of its armed activity on the 20th October 2011. Three days earlier an International Conference to promote the resolution of the Conflict in the Basque Country took place in Donostia. This Briefing reports about both ETA’s decision and the reactions it raised and the International Conference itself. The Abertzale Left understands that this decision shows ETA’s complete readiness to respond to the situation recently created in the Basque Country. In our opinion ETA has responded fully to the demand made by the International Conference and the demand made by the Basque social majority as far back as the Gernika Agreement. We understand that this decision has to be followed by the Spanish and French governments with measures to overcome the consequences of the conflict. The end of ETA’s armed campaign, however, doesn’t mean the end of the political conflict. Today like yesterday a conflict of a political nature still exists and it requires political solutions. 3

Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

International Conference to promote the resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country

Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre (DTPC), co-founded by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs. Leah Tutu in 1998, plays a unique role in building and leveraging the legacy of Archbishop Tutu to enable peace in the world. Its mision is stated as follows: to create and maintain a Peace Centre that will deliver programmes that promote conflict resolution, restore social justice to marginalised people and inspire leaders to be responsible and committed to the people they serve. We further the understanding that peace will flow out of justice and that there is essential good in everyone.



The Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF)

The International Conference to promote a resolution to the conflict was presented in Donostia on Tuesday 11th October 2011 and took place on the afternoon of October 17th, in the House of Peace of Donostia.

NOREF was established by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 2008 as a key resource centre to support Norwegian peacebuilding efforts. The Centre collaborates and promotes collaboration with a wide network of researchers, policy makers and practitioners in Norway and abroad. The Centre provides a range of resources and services on peacebuilding, mediation and humanitarian issues, in particular to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The initiative was endorsed and driven by diverse international and local entities such as:

Berghof Foundation For more than 35 years, the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies has devoted philanthropic resources to nurturing a scholarly tradition in peace and conflict studies. We are a private family foundation with both an operational and grant-making capacity.

International Contact Group

Its primary mission is three-fold:

Created on November 2010, the International Contact Group (ICG) is a group promoted by Brian Currin to expedite, facilitate and enable the achievement of political normalization In the Basque Country. The members of the group are presented on the 14th February in Bilbao and are Silvia Casale, Pierre Hazan, Raymond Kendall, Nuala O’Loan and Alberto Spektorowski.

• Supporting excellence and innovation in applied research in conflict studies • Enabling pragmatic approaches to nonviolent conflict transformation • Promoting effective networks of support and action with partner organisations

Lokarri, Citizen Network For Agreement And Consultation Lokarri is a social organization, independent and plural, which struggles for peace and the normalization of coexistence in Euskal Herria. This organization’s name responds to the following meaning: instrument of unification. The mission, project, and denomination of this citizen network are a commitment reflecting the predominant social will for agreement, consultation, and reconciliation.

Conciliation Resources Conciliation Resources (CR) is an international non-governmental organization registered in the UK as a charity. It works with partners in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific. These include local and international civil society organizations and governments.


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

The pannel of the conference was composed by:

Declaration by International leaders

- Kofi Annan, Former United Nations Secretary General.

We have come to the Basque Country today because we believe it is time to end, and it is possible to end, the last armed confrontation in Europe.

- Gro Harlem Bruntland, Former Norwegian Prime Minister and a member of “the Elders” (a group of pro-peace international figures created by Nelson Mandela.)

We believe this can now be achieved, with the support of citizens and their political representatives, as well as the support of Europe and the wider international co­ mmunity. We want to state clearly that we have not come here to impose anything or claim that we have the right or the authority to tell the citizens of this country, or relevant actors and political representatives, what they should do.

- Bertie Ahern, former Prime Minister of Ireland. - Pierre Joxe, former Defence Minister and Interior Minister of the French Republic, former president of the Socialist Group in the French National Assembly.

Rather, we have come here in good faith, with the hope of offering ideas drawn from our own experiences of resolving long conflicts that afflicted our own societies and peoples, as well as others we have helped resolve.

- Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein. - Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s former Chief of ­ taff, attended on behalf of Tony Blair’s place, who S could not attend due to a previous commitment in the Middle East.

We know from our own experience that it is never easy to end violence and conflict and secure lasting peace. It requires courage, willingness to take risks, profound commitment, generosity and statesmanship. Peace comes when the power of reconciliation outweighs the habits of hate; when the possibility of the present and future is infinitely greater than the bitterness of the past. We also know from our own experience that when a genuine opportunity for peace arises it must be seized. The growing demand of the citizens of this country and their political representatives to resolve this conflict through dialogue, democracy and complete non-violence has created this opportunity.

Representatives of all the Basque Political parties with the exception of UPyD and PP, took part on it as well as a broad representation of representatives of French political parties, Basque civil society, the main Trade Unions, the Businessmen organisations and the Basque Church; who made their contributions at the Conference.

Because of all of this, we believe it is today possible to end more than fifty years of violence and attain a just and lasting peace.

As a result of the discussions the international leaders made a public declaration:


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

region, who called for a dialogue between the ETA, Spain, and France, to end the long-standing conflict in the region.

In light of this: 1. We call upon ETA to make a public declaration of the definitive cessation of all armed action and to request talks with the governments of Spain and France to address exclusively the consequences of the conflict.

“This effort deserves the support of the international community,” said President Carter. 19th october 2011

2. If such a declaration is made we urge the ­go­vernments of Spain and France to welcome it and agree to talks exclusively to deal with the consequences of the conflict.

Statement by Tony Blair A spokesman of The Office of Tony Blair said: “Tony Blair strongly supports the declaration issued by leaders in San Sebastian calling on ETA definitively to end the armed struggle. He believes that there is a window of opportunity in which the last armed conflict in Europe can be brought to an end and he urges all political leaders to seize that opportunity.”

3. We urge that major steps be taken to promote reconciliation, recognize, compensate and assist all victims, recognize the harm that has been done and seek to heal personal and social wounds. 4. In our experience of resolving conflicts there are often other issues that, if addressed, can assist in the attainment of lasting peace. We suggest that non violent actors and political representatives meet and discuss political and other related ­issues, in consultation with the citizenry, that could contribute to a new era without conflict. In our experience third party observers or facilitators help such dialogue. Here, such dialogue could also be assisted by international facilitators, if that were desired by those involved.

17th october 2011

Statement by Senator George Mitchell

5. We are willing to form a committee to follow up these recommendations.

“I fully support the Declaration issued by international leaders in San Sebastian yesterday. It is important that all possible steps are taken to bring about the end of the last armed confrontation in Europe. I join the call for ETA to declare publicly that it is ending all armed activity and seeks talks with the ­ governments of Spain and France on the consequences of conflict. I believe there is an opportunity for lasting peace and that opportunity should be seized by all concerned.”

Donostia-San Sebastian 17 October 2011 Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter and George Mitchell gave their support to the declaration by International Leaders:

Statement from the Carter Center on reconciliation efforts in the Basque region Atlanta – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today endorsed the declaration of former world leaders at a conference in Spain’s Basque

17th october 2011


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

ETA’s declaration and reactions On the 20th October, in a historical decisión ETA announced the definitive cessation of its armed activity. This decision responded positively to the request made at the international conference.

ETA’s declaration still remains, every step, every achievement, will be fruit of the effort and struggle of Basque citizens. Throughout the years Euskal Herria has accumulated the experience and strength necessary to tackle this road and it also has the determination to do it.

Eta, socialist revolutionary Basque organisation of national liberation, desires through this declaration to announce its decision: Eta considers that the international conference held recently in the Euskal Herria [Basque Country] is an initiative of great political transcendence. The agreed resolution brings together the ingredients for an integrated solution to the conflict and has the support of large sectors of Basque society and of the international community.

It is time to look to the future with hope, it is also time to act with responsibility and valour. Because of all this, Eta has decided on the definitive cessation of its armed activity. Eta makes a call to the governments of Spain and France to open a process of direct dialogue which has as its aim the resolution of the consequences of the conflict and thus the conclusion of the armed conflict. With this historic declaration, Eta demonstrates its clear, firm and definitive purpose.

In Euskal Herria, a new political age is opening. We face a historic opportunity to obtain a just and democratic solution to the age-old political conflict. Faced with violence and repression, dialogue and agreement must characterise the new age. The recognition of Euskal Herria and respect for popular will must prevail over any imposition. This is the will of the majority of Basque citizens.

Eta finally calls on Basque society to get involved in this process until peace and liberty are achieved. Long live the free Euskal Herria, Long live Basque socialism, no rest until independence and socialism.

The struggle of many years has created this opportunity. It has not been an easy road. The rawness of the struggle has claimed many companions forever. Others are suffering jail or exile. To these our recognition and heartfelt homage. From here on, the road will not be easy either. Facing the imposition which

In Euskal Herria, 20 October 2011 Euskadi Ta Askatasuna


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

Reactions from Basque Country and Spanish state

open mind by taking the required measures. The end of ETA’s armed campaign, however, doesn’t mean the end of the political conflict. Today like yesterday a conflict of a political nature still exists requiring political solutions. This was confirmed in the conclusions of the International Conference in line with the demand of this country’s social majority.

Abertzale Left’s valoration of ETA’s statement: It’s time to start a dialogue to reach a democratical agreement

The political conflict still exists for a very simple reason: the Spanish and French states deny the Basque Country’s recognition and right to decide its future. These are the principal causes of the existence of the conflict which means from now on nobody will be able to hide behind the excuse of the armed struggle.

ETA has decided the definitive cease of its armed activity. In this way, yesterday’s announcement brings an end to ETA’s armed campaign. It is a historical initiative of enormous political importance, a milestone setting out our country’s political future.

The excuses are over: the end of the armed campaign must give way to the opening of a democratic dialogue in search of resolution. It is essential that all the political traditions of this country are involved.

The Abertzale Left understands that this decision shows the complete readiness of the organization, ETA, to respond to the situation recently created in the Basque Country. This situation features a social and political majority acting as a nation by defending its rights for a free democratic future.

This political dialogue must address the conflict’s historical roots: the recognition of the Basque Country as a nation and its right to decide its future. Only by ta­ ckling the conflict’s roots and giving a democratic solution to it we’ll be able to achieve, all together, a scenario of definitive solutions. Such scenario will enable all political projects to enjoy the same opportunities to become a reality. This includes the pro-independence political project which continues to be vetoed in this country by the imposed legal and political system.

ETA has placed its historical decision in the hands of that social mayority and the international community. The Conference organised last Monday has created the basis for a resolution process in its entirety by giving reponse to the causes and consequences of the conflict.

The time has come to face this democratic debate, without limits and vetoes. This debate must be culminated by the attainment of an agreement based on the recognition of the Basque Country as a nation and its right to decide its future, which will require endorsement by the citizens. In this new time opened after the International Conference and ETA’s historical decision the Abertzale Left believes that our main objective as a country must be the attainment of the democratic agreement.

In this way, ETA has responded fully to the demand made by the International Conference and the demad made by the Basque social mayority as far back as the Gernika Agreement. The Abertzale Left understands that the decision to definetevely abandon the armed struggle has to be followed by the Spanish and French governments with measures to overcome the consequences of the conflict. In this sense, we call on the Zapatero and Sarkozy governments to respond to this historical opportunity without delay and respond responsably and with an

Because of that, we deem as absolutely irresponsible those attempts launched by certain political sectors to deny the conflict and promote a future of winners and loosers. Those groupings which continue to turn their back on this democratic need are becoming of less significance in our country. Their discourse is contrary to the democratic shared society that we must build together. It is also time for them to change those attitudes to prevent themselves being isolated in a society, that of the Basque Country, the majority of which is moving together in the opposite direction. Thus, a new scenario is opening with gigantic steps and it is everybody’s responsability to ensure that it develops with a democratic spirit so we all become winners.


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

all of the countries who for years have given us their support and solidarity”.

This is the commitment we take today before the people, a people that must participate in a leading role in this exciting collective task. The Abertzale Left understands that the people’s involvement will be crucial to change the current stubbornness of the Spanish and French states.

“Above all it has been possible thanks to the courage and strength of Spanish society, guided by the sure reference of the State of Law, that today definitively and unconditionally triumphs as the only possible way of coexistence”.

To conclude, the Abertzale Left faces this new times with a big smile and with great satisfaction to see how this collective task to build a free and democratic future, goes forward without turning back.

“Ours will be a democracy without terrorism, but not a democracy without memory. The memory of the victims, of every one of the 829 mortal victims and their families, of so many wounded who suffer the unjust and hideous strike of terror that will accompany us forever, will accompany the future generations of Spaniards”.

Complete speech of the President of the Government, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, assessing the statement from ETA organization

“At this moment I think in particular of Basque society. I have the conviction that from now on they will enjoy the end of a coexistence not tied up with fear or intimidation, a coexistence that is completely free, a coexistence in peace”.

“Conscious of the importance and transcendence of the announcement that ETA just made public I want to reaffirm my confidence and the confidence of all Spaniards in democracy, freedom and Spain”.

“The unity of Spanish and Basque democratic parties, of Spanish and Basque, has resulted in being definitive for achieving this end. It will be up to the Government and to the Parliament that come out of the next general elections to steer this new time that also must also be met with a unified commitment”. “With the restraint that the story obliges us we live today the legitimate satisfaction of democracy, of law and of reason. A satisfaction tinted by the unforgettable memory of the pain caused by a violence that never should have happened and should never come back”.

“For many years, for too many years, we have suffered and fought terror and we have done so until democratic reason has opened up in a definitive way”. “This has been possible thanks to the determination for ending violence that everyone and each successive democratic government and their presidents have shown”.

“Thank you and good night.”

Reactions of the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy

“I think it right to mention at this time the work that different Interior ministers and especially those who have accompanied me at this step”. “Of course this has been possible thanks to the tenacious and efficient actions of the State Security Forces, the Police and the Guardia Civil whose sacrifice and generous dedication of service to the citizens that has so many times cost them their own lives. The action of justice, the intelligence services and many other public servants have contributed to this end”.

The President notes ETA’s announcement of its decision to renounce definitively to all armed actions. The Republic’s President, who is constantly engaged with the Spanish authorities in the fight against terrorism, notes the decision announced yesterday by ETA to renounce to all armed actions.

“It has also been possible thanks to the collaboration of France and their authorities, with whom we have made a perpetual debt of gratitude and solidarity. President Sarkozy’s friendship with Spain has been a deciding factor and from here I would like to transmit to him my recognition. A recognition that extends to

The head of the state congratulates the President of the Government, José Luis Zapatero and beyond, all the authorities, political forces and people


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

of Spain for the victory of democracy over violence.


He pays tribute to the many victims of decades of terrorism. dfdfadfadfadfadfadfadfadfadfadfaf France will continue to provide strong support for Spain’s efforts to ensure lasting peace in the Basque Country.

“As I have told you, the announcement of the disappearance of ETA’s violence from the life of the Spanish people is good news. It is the fruit of the effort and determination of the whole of Spanish society that has known to resist in an exemplary way to the criminal blackmail of the terrorists for decades, it has known how to keep itself unified, it has known how to defend its freedom and today is more free because this announcement has come about without any political concession”.

Reaction of Mariano Rajoy to ETA’s statement:

“The defeat of ETA fortifies the state of law and the faith in democracy of all the Spanish people, represented by the successive force of all the governments who have acted under protection of the law. And that is the only way to the future.”

“We receive with satisfaction the decision of ETA to definitively renounce violence”. “It is good news that we have gotten ETA to finally renounce imposing their political project through death, fear, violence and exclusion”.

Reaction of the PNV to ETA’s statement “The Basque Nationalist Party wants to share with all of Basque society this moment of individual and collective joy”.

“After having caused so much suffering and pain to so many innocent people, it is good news to know that ETA won’t make attempts on the life, the rights and the freedom of people”.

“Basque society is content and proud because among all of us we have been able to overcome terrorism. Because democracy has finally imposed itself over violence”.

“We consider this to be an important step but the tranquility of the Spanish will only be complete when the irreversible dissolution of ETA takes place and their complete dismantling”.

“The first memory is for the victims. And then for those persecuted, threatened and blackmailed”.

“Today our first thought has to be to all the innocent people whose lives have been destroyed. Their suffering has been the suffering of all good Spaniards”.

“There are many names that come to mind today”. “First, the people cruelly murdered. A remembrance for all of them. And a recognition to the Basque people”.

“The victims of terrorism have been and will continue to be the moral reference of our democracy. They never lost confidence in the instruments in our State of Law: the law, justice and the security forces”. “Thanks to that today we can receive this news”.

“And more than the names of the commitment, of all the people who have worked tirelessly for peace. I am not going to name anyone so that everyone is named”.

“I want to especially recognize today the work of all the state security forces. They’ve offered up an enormous tribute of blood and they have acted with an exemplary democratic efficiency”.

“But one thing is clear, and we can say it with pride, that all of those here present, all of the internal and institutional positions of the Basque Nationalist Party have always been committed to peace”.

“Together with them, I wish to thank the decisive work that judges and prosecutors have developed in the fight against the terrorist group. This news has come about because the law, the expression of the free will of the Spanish people, has been stronger than threats and violence. In this fight the judges and prosecutors in charge of applying the law have been

“Always, everyone. Because we are and will be the Party of Non Violence”. Thanks to everyone. And about this shared joy, and we have to celebrate, two ideas.


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

Tony Blair and Gerry Adams



An invitation to everyone to get to know the true and only Euskadi.

By TONY BLAIR in the New York Times To know the true Basques. The unconditional declaration by the Basque separatist group ETA this week that it is finally ending 50 years of violence, during which it killed hundreds of people and wounded thousands more, should be welcomed by all governments and peoples. It is a victory for democracy, as well as a victory for the people of Spain and the Basque regions of Spain and France.

We are an honorable hard-working, supportive, open and happy people. That’s how we are and that’s how we wish to be known, directly. Inside of our joy there is a special place for knowing that now we will be known and recognized for how we really are.

The Spanish government — in particular Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his deputy, the long-time interior minister, Alfredo Rubalcaba — has taken courageous risks for peace and paid a heavy political price when ETA responded by blowing up part of Madrid airport and returning to killing in 2006.

Second. We have taken a big step, but it isn’t finished. Peace needs work.

Zapatero and his colleagues never stopped fighting ETA, consistently defending Spanish democracy, and, with the support and cooperation of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, successfully weakened the terrorist movement by arresting its leadership and disrupting their attacks.

Reconciliation and harmony need work. This will be an objective for all of Basque society, for everyone. Among everyone we have to achieve for everyone.

But Zapatero also never stopped offering the hand of peace. He made it clear that there wouldbe no secret negotiations, that there would be no political concessions to ETA, and that another cease-fire would not be enough: ETA must unilaterally, publicly and unambiguously declare that it was ending the armed struggle for good if there was to be peace.

Neither we nor our fathers have known peaceful coexistence in Euskadi. This is the legacy that is up to us to leave to our children. A legacy of memory, freedom and harmony. The Basque Nationalist Party is prepared and is committed.

The opposition Popular Party, led by Mariano Rajoy, has also always demonstrated its seriousness and responsibility on this issue.

We have worked. We are going to work. Not everything is done, but we will do everything for peace and harmony.

The firmness paid off this week. ETA has now done exactly what was demanded. Its leaders have put violence behind them for good. This really is the end of the last armed confrontation in Europe.

That is our commitment.

International reactions to ETA’s statement

In its declaration ending the armed campaign, ETA asks for talks with the governments of Spain and France to deal with the “consequences” of the conflict. These ­talks are necessary to assure the dissolution of ETA as a military force.

Prominent international individuals, political organizations and international organizations have assesed the important step taken by ETA. Most of them declared it as a positive step and said that it is great step towards the resolution of the political conflict in Euskal Herria. They also encouraged the parties to take steps and go further on the way of solutions. We gather some of the reactions below:

Just as we did in our talks in Northern Ireland, these talks will deal with the decommissioning of weapons, explosives and military infrastructure, with the issue of prisoners and exiles, with the rehabilitation of those caught up in the violence, with security normalization


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

and with recompense for victims.


As in Northern Ireland, there will be a “peace dividend” for Spain. The billions of euros that have been spent on security can now be redirected to more socially useful ends, a welcome benefit in a time of cutbacks and budget restraint.

By GERRY ADAMS , Special to CNN The decisive and positive terms of ETA’s response to Monday’s “Declaration” in Donostia-San Sebastian by the International Conference group is to be welcomed, as is the response of the Spanish government and others.

As in Northern Ireland we must remember the victims and ensure that the families left behind are properly recognized and supported.

It has taken many years of patient work to get to this point and every effort must be made to build momentum into the process.

Above all, it will now be possible for all parties in Spain and the Basque region to pursue their aims politically without violence or the threat of violence.

I first became involved in the efforts to build a peace process in the Basque country at the time of our own peace agreement in 1998. An Irish priest, Fr. Alex Reid, who I have known for almost 40 years, had played a key role in creating the Irish peace process and he was asked by a priest in that region to bring his expertise to bear.

I believe there also are wider lessons from the end of this conflict. The first is that governments must firmly defend themselves, their principles and their people against terrorists. This requires good police and intelligence work as well as political determination.

In the years since then, Sinn Féin leaders, including myself, have traveled regularly to the region and met representatives from the Basque country and the Spanish state.

But governments must also recognize the need to “talk to their enemies.” Firm security pressure on terrorists must be coupled with offering them a way out when they realize that they cannot win by violence. Terrorist groups are rarely defeated by military means alone. Peace is always made between enemies, not friends. This is as true in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas as it is in the Basque region.

It is obvious that many of those in the Basque region who we met are committed to peace and that they have consciously sought to learn from the Irish experience. Almost two years ago a new group Aber­ tzale Left, which includes the banned Batasuna party agreed on a new political strategy for progress.

I learned from our experience in Northern Ireland that ending violence and making peace irreversible requires patience, taking risks, suffering setbacks and a constant commitment. It also requires creativity, generosity and statesmanship. In Spain these qualities have been demonstrated by all and will be needed to secure a lasting peace.

What’s behind ETA announcement? For those familiar with the peace process in Ireland the language used by Abertzale Left is strikingly similar to that used in Ireland. Abertzale Left committed itself to using “exclusively political and democratic means” to advance its political objectives. And it seeks to advance political change “in a complete absence of violence and without interference” and “conducted in accordance with the Mitchell Principles.”

Spain will hold national elections on Nov. 20 and a new government will have to take on the hard work of clearing up the consequences of the conflict. This is the point in peace processes when the participants often collapse in exhaustion — but it is when efforts need to be redoubled. The European Union and the wider international community should strongly support the new Spanish government in this effort.

These principles were devised by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell who was chair of the peace negotiations in Ireland.

ETA has made a historic declaration. The opportunity for peace must now be seized. I will work to support Spain, France and the citizens of the Basque region in any way I can in their effort to secure the lasting peace and democracy they have long demanded and fully deserve.

Last Monday I returned to Donostia-San Sebastian in Euskadi for an “international conference to promote the resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country.” An international group of leaders -- myself, Kofi ­Annan, Jonathan Powell, Bertie Ahern, Pierre Joxe, and Gro Harland Bruntland -- had been asked to speak on

Tony Blair was prime minister of Britain from 1997 to 2007.


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

For example, among these are the issue of prisoners and of demilitarizing the environment and of res­ pecting and acknowledging the democratic rights of all political parties and treating them as equals. And there is for the Basque people the key issue of the right of the people of that historic region to self-determination.

that issue and to set out our view of the next steps needed to encourage a step change in the Basque peace process. In my contribution I pointed out that violence usually occurs when people believe there is no alternative. Transforming a situation from conflict to peace requires creating an alternative. This is hugely challenging. It demands that we seek to understand what motivates, what inspires, what drives our opponent.

As we learned from our own experience, making peace is very difficult. But as the peace processes in Ireland and in South Africa demonstrate, no conflict is intractable. If there is political will and imagination and a preparedness to take risks for peace it is possible to rewrite the script, make progress and achieve agreements.

Each conflict is different but in the course of our efforts Irish Republicans learned that there are general principles of peace-making and methods of conflict-resolution that can be applied elsewhere and which can help end conflict if applied properly.

Gerry Adams is president of Sinn Féin These elements include: dialogue, tackling the causes which lie at the heart of the conflict, a good faith engagement by all sides, an inclusive process with all parties treated as equals and mandates respected. All issues must be on the agenda -- there can be no preconditions, no vetoes, and no attempt to pre-determine the outcome or preclude any outcome. And there should be time frames.

International personalities and institutions Ban welcomes Basque group ETA’s decision to end armed campaign

Most importantly, participants must stay focused and be prepared to take risks and engage in initiatives and confidence-building measures.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement by the Basque separatist group ETA that it would end its protracted campaign of violence.

But if there is a starting point, it must be dialogue. ­­I emphasized this again and again. This is the foundation upon which any progress will be built. Following our deliberations the International Group expressed the opinion that “it is possible to end, the last armed confrontation in Europe”.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said he “shares in the hope that ETA [Euskadi ta Askatasuna] is committed to bringing this tragic chapter for Spain to an end.”

We called upon ETA to “make a public declaration of the definitive cessation of all armed action and to request talks with the governments of Spain and France to address exclusively the consequences of the conflict.”

“There should be an end to violence and a permanent laying down of arms,” Mr. Ban said, paying tribute to the memory of the more than 800 victims of the group’s violence over the years.

Thursday’s statement meets that requirement. The Spanish government has also welcomed the statement.

“They and all who have fallen victim to any form of terrorism around the world should not be forgotten.” asp?NewsID=40150

So, a breakthrough has been achieved, but it must be built upon quickly if its potential is to be achieved. The next steps should now focus on promoting reconciliation, addressing the issue of victims and recognizing that a serious effort has to be made to heal personal and social wounds.

Statement by Mr. Kofi Annan on ETA’s Declaration

There are other issues which will need to be addressed and which can act as confidence-building measures within the process.

I welcome ETA’s Declaration to end all armed activity and violence for good.


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

Statement by President Clinton on the opportunity for an ETA ceasefire

I am glad that the International Conference held in San Sebastian, on 17 October 2011, assisted in bringing a long and deadly conflict to an end.

“By implementing an unconditional and complete renunciation of all violence, ETA can help pave the way for a better life for all affected by the last armed conflict in Europe. I urge ETA’s leadership to take this important step.”

This is a victory for dialogue and peace. Now, the hard work begins. Building lasting peace will require determination, long-term commitment and political will.

Too often the peace is lost when fine words are not followed through with detailed agreements and a mechanism for implementation. I therefore urge all the parties, and the governments of Spain and France, to accept ETA’s Declaration and engage in the peace process.

US Congressional Friends of Ireland Caucus on ETA ceasefire

It is now necessary to initiate discussions with ETA to deal with the consequences of the conflict and assure that peace is irreversible.

Members of the Congressional Friends of Ireland Caucus statement on ETA ceasefire and international conference on peace From Washington

Finally, let me say once again that we must not forget the tragic victims of this conflict. They must be supported, treated with compassion and their needs dealt with equitably.

ONE of the byproducts of the Irish peace process is that it has become a model for successful conflict resolution around the globe. From the Middle East to Sri Lanka, other societies in conflict have looked to the political leaders on that island to learn the lessons of peacemaking and ending armed confrontations. statement-mr-kofi-annan-eta’s-declaration

The White House Office of the Press Secretary

Many of those directly responsible for bringing peace to Ireland – including former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Chief of Staff, Jonathan Powell – were invited to attend a major conference in San Sebastian to promote an end of the conflict in the Basque Country. They were joined by former United Nations Secretary Kofi Annan. Along with former US Senator George Mitchell, the international negotiators urged the Basque separatist group ETA to call an end to their conflict with the Spanish Government and to reject violence for good.

Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor on ETA Renouncing Violence. Yesterday’s announcement by ETA in Spain that it has renounced violence holds out the prospect of a historic step toward peace, although there is a long road ahead to realize this promise. In this moment of hope, our thoughts go out to the many victims who have suffered due to ETA’s actions over many decades. We recognize the courage of the Spanish government and the Spanish people in their enduring efforts to advance democracy and freedom in Spain and around the world. Spain and the United States are close allies in NATO and work together to promote shared values and interests within Europe and beyond.

As the historic conference concludes, members of the Friends of Ireland in the United States House of Representatives welcome in the strongest possible terms the announcement by ETA that they have declared “a definitive cessation of all armed action”, raising hope that after four decades the last armed dispute in Europe may soon have a peaceful resolution. the-press-office/2011/10/21/ statement-national-securitycouncil-spokesman-tommy-vietor-eta-renouncin

We believe the ETA statement was an important and significant development that can lead to a process of direct talks with all the parties in the region.


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

Familiar with, and respectful of, the courage it takes to enter into such negotiations. UNPO wishes to express its most sincere congratulations to all parties: the former armed movement in the Basque country for the initiative to call for an international mediation team; the government of Spain for accepting the offer; and all the members of the negotiating team.

We also commend the response of the Spanish Government which described the announcement as a positive step towards a more peaceful and democratic future. It is our shared belief that a basis for dialogue between ETA and the Spanish and French governments now exists. For those of us in Congress who witnessed and participated in the Irish experience first-hand, we support those who find alternatives to conflict and take risks for peace.

Many important discussions of autonomy, as well as cultural, political and linguistic rights remain unresolved and UNPO will closely follow the progress to come. UNPO also look forward to additional support and capacity being given to bodies such as the United Nations Standby Team of Mediation Experts so that other nations and peoples can seek support on how to follow the same peaceful path as that we have seen taken in the Basque Country.

We agree with the international group that a genuine opportunity for peace and reconciliation in the region is within reach and must be seized. With the unprecedented ETA statement, we hope talks that address the consequences of the conflict can now begin, and a new era free of violence follows.

In the wake of the precedent set in the Basque Country, it is up to the international community to reach out and replicate the process in still unresolved situations throughout the world where people and nations are caught in the same tragic deadlock and international negotiation is needed to make the difference. This is particularly true for all the unrecognized people and nations who have already renounced violence and have not yet been rewarded for their embrace of nonviolence as instrument of their choice in the struggle for selfdetermination.

Congressman Richard E. Neal (Democrat from Massachusetts) Congressman Jerry Costello (Democrat from Illinois) Congressman Tim Holden (Democrat from Pennsylvania)

UNPO Commends New Commitment To Peace in the Basque Country

Amnesty International: End to ETA violence presents opportunity for human rights reforms

UNPO General Secretary, Marino Busdachin, welcomes the recent statement by Euskadi Ta Askatasuna declaring an end to the group’s fifty year armed struggle. The Hague, 27 October 2011 – UNPO General Secretary, Marino Busdachin, welcomes the recent statement by Euskadi Ta Askatasuna declaring an end to the group’s fifty year armed struggle. Following the group’s call for arms decommissioning talks in September 2010, Busdachin expressed the hope that the move would “mark an absolute and unqualified commitment to the principles of nonviolence.

The announcement by Spain’s armed Basque group, ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) that it has permanently renounced armed struggle provides an opportunity to reform the country’s counter-terrorism laws and ­improve accountability for rights violations, Amnesty International said today.

As the membership organisation for unrepresented people and unrecognized territories, the UNPO recognizes the opportunity that the October 2011 announcement offers, inspiring autonomy movements around the world to continue to adhere to nonviolent principles and utilize the tenets of negotiation and protest as they seek the rights to which they aspire.

ETA waged a 40-year armed campaign against the Spanish state, during which more than 800 people were killed and thousands injured. Yesterday it announced “the definitive cessation of its armed activity”. “Amnesty International has waited a long time for ETA to announce an end to violence,” said Nicola Duck­worth,


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

Powell, and subsequently endorsed by Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter and George Mitchell.

Director of the Europe and Central Asia programme. ”We have consistently condemned the serious human rights abuses it has carried out in the Basque country and other parts of Spain, including attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks. ETA must now live up to its word by ending human rights abuses definitively and permanently .All perpetrators of past abuses must be brought to justice.”

The international conference in the Basque Country also called on the governments of Spain and France to welcome such a statement and agree to talks to deal with the consequences of the conflict. We hope that they will do so. In accordance with the Declaration we urge that major steps be taken to promote reconciliation and to recognize, compensate and assist all victims as well as to recognize the harm that has been done and seek to heal personal and social wounds.

“The Spanish government must also ensure that security forces are held accountable for human rights violations they have committed. Counter terrorism laws and practices which caused or contributed to these violations must be reformed.”

We also suggest that non violent actors and political representatives meet and discuss political and other related issues, in consultation with the citizenry, that could contribute to a new era without conflict.

Amnesty International has consistently called on the Spanish authorities to abolish incommunicado detention and guarantee that detainees are given prompt and effective access to their lawyer of choice. They should also reform the practice of detaining terror suspects and those convicted on terrorism charges in locations far from their families, and remove ambiguities in the Law on Political Parties which could infringe upon freedom of thought, expression, association or assembly.

We believe that the conditions exist to build an inclusive resolution process, based on dialogue, negotiations and agreement among all the parties. Such a process should guarantee the right of Basques to decide their future freely. We in Europe need to recognise the importance and significance of this historic step and must promote a process that would end the last ongoing armed conflict in the EU.

Last year ETA announced that it would not carry out any “offensive armed actions”. On 10 January 2011 the armed group declared a permanent and general ceasefire, open to verification by the international community. On 17 October 2011 an international conference attended by international figures including former Secretary General Kofi Annan was held in San Sebastian in the Basque Country. ETA’s statement of 20 October was made following a call made by this conference for ETA to publicly declare “a definite cessation of armed activity”.

Taking into account the resolution on the Basque peace process adopted by the EU parliament on October 2006, we ask the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council to act consequently by getting involved in the process and promoting it in order to make it a success. We, as a friendship towards a peace process in the Basque Country, commit ourselves once again to continue working to create a peaceful and democratic scenario in the Basque Country. With this aim the Friendship Group will undertake a series of activities within the coming months.

Friendship statement on ETA’s announcement We want to welcome very warmly the historic decision of ETA “on the definitive cessation of its armed activity.” This decision responds positively to the recommendations of the “International Conference to promote the resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country” on 17th October.

The EFA welcomes ETA’s historic declaration in which they proclaim the end of armed campaign. (21/10/2011)

The Friendship group towards a peace process in the Basque Country fully endorses the recommendations made public by Kofi Annan, Gro Harlem Bruntland, Bertie Ahern, Gerry Adams, Pierre Joxe and Jonathan

The EFA expresses its highest satisfaction and joy after ETA’s unprecedented declaration to end violent campaign, and to firmly and definitively commit to this decision.

Basque Friendship Group


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

struggle; on October 20th, ETA finally declared a “historic” and “definitive” end to its armed activity.

In the declaration ETA calls the Spanish and French governments to “open a process of direct dialogue which has as its aim the resolution of the consequences of the conflict and thus the conclusion of the armed conflict”.

In this interview with the Global Observatory, Mr. Ahern discussed the conditions that led to ETA’s declaration and the steps needed for reconciliation and disarmament.

In this line, the European Free Allliance -EFA- demands the French government and the current and the upcoming new government of Spain to take their responsibilities and give a satisfactory and mature answer to the popular claim for peace of the basque society, which today is stronger than ever.

Mr. Ahern was optimistic about the prospects of the declaration, saying, “I think it needs a period of stability to try to get this to bed down and sustain itself, but I am confident that the initial work has been successful, and that there’s good grounds and foundation to build on.”

Looking to the future, EFA’s president Mr. Eric Defoort, states that “ Honest and committed negotiations and political dialogue should immediately start, in order to put an end to this political conflict and reach a deeprooted future in peace.

Mr. Ahern called on the respective governments to get involved in a process of reconciliation and disarmament. “Now you need the governments of Spain and France to get into talks and to deal with the consequences of the conflict,” he said.

A historic era of armed conflict comes to an end but, more important, a new one begins in which the basque society will decide in a democratic way upon their own future, and in which Spain and France will have to listen to and accept this democratic wish, and will have to act as a democracy working for Peace”.

But Mr. Ahern emphasized the need to be perseverant, and to be patient. Recalling the experience of Northern Ireland, he said, “What you have to do is move to a position where you can remove the difficulties that make the organization be there in the first place… but, it’s one step as you go, in successful peace processes. If you try to take them all together, it won’t happen.”

The European Free Alliance congratulates the Basque society and thanks all the organizations, institutions, political representatives, support groups, … all men and women that, in one way or another, have invested time and energy to help achieving this moment and who will keep on working for a long lasting peace.

The experience in Northern Ireland provides reasons to be hopeful, said Mr. Ahern. “Obstacles are there to be overcome. I think with a sense of goodwill, a sense of parity of esteem, a sense of people working to find resolutions and being tolerant and being forgiving for all that has happened, as we had to do in Northern Ireland – of all the terrible things and atrocities that happened – you can find resolutions and move forward, and make it a better process, not only for this generation, but for the next generation.”


Interview with Bertie Ahern and Brian Currin

The interview was conducted on October 28, 2011 by Marie O’Reilly, Publications Officer, International Peace Institute.

Interview with Bertie Ahern, Former Prime Minister of Ireland on Prospects for Basque Peace

Interview with Brian Currin, Mediator in Basque Conflict

Bertie Ahern’s long career in Irish politics includes his term as Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland from 1997-2008. Mr. Ahern participated in negotiations leading to the “Good Friday Agreement” in Northern Ireland and recently was among a group of world leaders that called on ETA to permanently give up its violent

by Marie O’Reilly

South African human rights lawyer Brian Currin is a leading figure in international efforts to find a negotiated solution to the Basque conflict. After initiating


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

the 2010 Brussels Declaration that called on ETA, the armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization, to declare a ceasefire, which the group said was “permanent” last January, Currin established the International Contact Group for the Basque Country. On October 17, 2011, an international conference in San Sebastian, attended by figures such as former Secretary-General Kofi Annan and co-organized by the International Contact Group, attempted to move the peace process forward. A declaration from ETA followed shortly thereafter. Mr. Currin was interviewed by Marie O’Reilly, Publications Officer for the International Peace Institute, on October 28, 2011. Marie O’Reilly (MOR): Brian Currin, thank you very much for talking to the Global Observatory today. On Thursday, October 20th, the Basque separatist group ETA announced a “definitive” end to its armed activity. ETA has broken “permanent” ceasefires before. Do you believe that this end will be definitive? And why has this declaration come about now?

position is that ETA would have to be defeated, that ETA would have to be literally demolished and disappear completely. Interestingly enough, that has also been the position of the government—the Socialist Party—ever since the last ceasefire collapsed.

Brian Currin (BC): Well, I do believe it will be definitive. And I think we must remember that this is not a ceasefire, it’s a declaration of the end of the armed struggle for ETA. It has taken some time to get to this point, but a very carefully designed process has been followed over the last few years to get here. The process was developed systematically, step by step, over a period of time. And so, I believe that at this moment, we have seen the end of ETA violence.

And now that ETA has declared an end to its armed struggle and wants to talk about the consequences of the violence: it is not there to negotiate the terms and conditions of a ceasefire, it is not there to negotiate the end of violence—violence has ended. We’re now at a point of normalizing politics in the Basque Country and in Spain. There are huge consequences of the violence that need to be dealt with. Some of them obviously have an interest for Abertzale Left [the Basque nationalist Left] and for ETA—for example, the issue of prisoners and the issue of the extreme security measures that are in place. But there are other issues, particularly decommissioning of arms, that surely must be of interest to the Spanish government and to France. So I would be very surprised if they are not willing to sit and talk about how those consequences are addre­ ssed. They won’t just go away on their own.

Previously, the ceasefire declarations were essentially the result of some engagement between Madrid and ETA. It was clearly easier for ETA to breach commitments to Spain because they could justify it on the basis that Spain breached commitments to them. But it is a different matter breaching a ­commitment to the international community. I say this in the context of ETA’s January 2011 ceasefire declaration being a response to the Brussels Declaration.

MOR: As you have said, ETA has agreed to a permanent end to armed violence, but it has not yet said it will disband or disarm. What will it take for ETA to disband?

I am absolutely convinced that ETA will not go back to violence. The next thing that needs to happen is the government should meet with ETA and talk about the consequences of the violence, some of which would be the issue of prisoners, the whole question of de­ commissioning, as well as talking about victims—all of those are confidence-building measures. MOR: The current Spanish government appears unlikely to enter talks with ETA. The leader of the cen­terright Popular Party—the favorite in Spain’s upcoming general elections—has also said that he will not negotiate with the group. Do you think this might change after the election?

BC: If you think about it, here we have an organization that has been involved in armed struggle for decades. But, as a paramilitary organization, wearing that particular label, it no longer exists. It’s not going to shoot another bullet. So the next step, which would be decommissioning, is purely a logical step, and there needs to be a process agreed as to how that happens. Who is going to identify the arms, how are they going to be identified? For me that is a logical consequence of what has happened but it needs to be discussed and it needs to be agreed to, and that’s why the governments and ETA leadership need to get together.

BC: If I read everything that the Popular Party has said, their position, as I have understood it, has always been that they won’t negotiate a ceasefire with ETA. Their

So for me, what it will take is a process. In that process there are prisoner issues—some of them clearly of a humanitarian nature—that should be addressed. Now, if


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

BC: Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to you.

ETA is not waging a war anymore and the prisoners are serving their sentences, surely there is ­absolutely no reason at all why Madrid and France should not agree to prisoners returning to the Basque Country. That is, in my view, a no-brainer. There are some prisoners who are over the age of seventy, and there are some that are terminally ill. Very often non political common law criminals are released on that basis, so that could h ­ appen in this instance once the political environment has normalized.

Financial Times editorial October 24 Twilight falls on Eta’s dirty war

These are issues that are not all that complicated that could be dealt with, which would assist to both sides. And it seems to make common sense to do that sooner rather than later. What is interesting is that, in this instance, there was not a single substantive demand on the table from ETA before agreeing to end the armed struggle. And that’s what is very positive. That is what should make it easier for the governments to respond positively.

Too many times in its bloody history, Eta’s “permanent” ceasefires have been empty gestures, often breached almost as soon as they were declared. However, the “definitive cessation of military activity” that Eta announced last week is empty for a different reason: after 52 years and 829 killings, the violent Basque separatist group is all but spent.

MOR: What role do you see for third-party observers and facilitators going forward in this process? Do you see yourself playing a role as a mediator, perhaps, ­between the government and ETA?

Impressive co-operation between French, Spanish and Basque regional police has taken its toll. Eta has been thoroughly penetrated by the security services, and lost pretty much all of its plausible leaders over the past seven years. By some estimates, fewer than 50 active members remain at large. By contrast, 699 etarras are held in Spanish and French jails.

BC: There are two tracks really. One of them is the “paragraph two” track—I’m referring to the October 17 Declaration from the world leaders, where they called upon the governments to engage with ETA on the consequences of the violence. That is something that will be dealt with by others who have previously facilitated engagement between Madrid and ETA. I doubt very much that ETA and the government will meet on their own.

Just as fatal, however, are shifts within the separatist milieu. Eta’s previous ceasefire, declared in January, was pushed by former leaders of Batasuna, Eta’s ba­ nned political wing, who have given up on the armed struggle. As tellingly, most jailed etarras backed Bildu, a separatist party committed to peaceful pursuit of Basque aims, as it made spectacular gains at local elections in the spring.

But once that has been dealt with, and when, ETA no longer exists as a paramilitary organization, then allparty political negotiations should commence, in the Basque Country. Because it is critical that the Basque political parties negotiate and come to agreements about their own future—whether it is the present form of autonomy, increased autonomy, [or] independence. These are the issues that all the parties in the Basque Country need to sit down and negotiate about.

The reasons for this shift are not hard to find. Spain’s devolved governance allows Basques autonomy. The EU’s open borders have made the separation of Spanish and French Basques a distant memory. Their language is reviving. And the regional economy, which 30 years ago was a graveyard of rusting industries, has taken off.

Such negotiations should happen in the Basque Country. This is referred to in paragraph four of the October 17 Declaration from the international leaders, in which they say: to the extent that the parties may need international assistance to facilitate those negotiations, then the international community will be willing and able to assist. The International Contact Group has been doing that sort of work for most of this year. We have met with all the parties except the Popular Party, because they have not wanted to meet with us. Part of [our] mandate is to help to facilitate, to the extent that it might be required, future negotiations. So I would say that there’s a good chance that the International Contact Group would be required to assist in those negotiations during the course of the next number of years, because I don’t see that happening over night.

Yet while Eta has forsworn violence, it has not pledged to disband. To ease it in this direction, the government must manage two issues carefully. First, it must decide how to treat Eta prisoners. In some cases, pardons or parole deals could be considered. More generally, etarras in prisons outside the Basque country should be moved to jails closer to home. Second, Spain should avoid criminalising legitimate expressions of Basque opinion. In March, the Supreme Court banned Sortu, Bildu’s forerunner, for alleged ties to Batasuna. Yet if parties commit to democracy and eschew violence – as Sortu did – it is far healthier to let their ideas be defeated openly in elections than to clamp down and force them underground.

MOR: Thank you very much, Mr. Currin.


Special dossier International Conference-ETA’s ceasefire declaration

Barring an upset in the looming general election, these challenges will fall to the Partido Popular, whose instinct has always been to be tough on Basque separatism. It should curb this. Eta’s recent manoeuvres are the last twitches of a dying organisation. Only misguided political posturing can bring it back to life.

Uruguay considers the end of violence by ETA to be “historic”

South American Governments

The Uruguayan government interpreted as “very positive and historic” the announcement of the end of violence by the terrorist group ETA and hopes that the announcement has a definitive character, according to affirmations by the Minister of Foreign Relations Luis Almagro.

El Salvador salutes Spain on the announcement of the end of the armed struggle by ETA The government of El Salvador through the Ministry of Foreign Relations salutes the Spanish people and government on the occasion to congratulate them for the announcement of the end of the armed struggle emitted this past October 20th by the Basque organisation ETA.

“We feel it as something very positive, outstanding, prominent and we hope that it is sustainable over time”, according to the chancellor regarding the October 20th announcement by ETA. Almargo emphasized his confidence in that the decision of the terrorist group contributes to a “decisive impulse for the political and social cohesion of Spain.”

El Salvador, as a country who was able to overcome conflicts though pacific means, repeats its commitment to dialogue and negotiation as the best ways for achieving peace.

“We are very pleased by the news and we consider it as it is, something historic” added the chancellor during an encounter with the Foreign Press Association of Uruguay (APEU).

In this sense El Salvador applauds this announcement, which is without doubt an important achievement for all Spanish society.


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