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ETA offers talks on Basque future

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ETA offers talks on Basque future

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The Basque separatist group ETA has said it is ready to take part in negotiations with the Spanish government, but made no mention of laying down its arms.

A statement said it backed peace proposals published by Batasuna, the party said to be ETA’s political wing which has been banned for refusing to condemn violence. ETA said it welcomed Batasuna’s plans for what are described as “exclusively political and democratic” talks on the future of the Basque country. But the Spanish leadership has ruled out any talks with ETA or Batasuna until they surrender their weapons and renounce violence. More than 800 people have been killed since ETA began its campaign for Basque independence in 1968.