The Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero says he will make contacts for peace talks with the Basque separatist organisation ETA this summer. He said a date had been fixed but he refused to say what it was. His statement was made shortly after ETA issued a statement in Basque and in French calling on France to get involved with peace talks.
Confirming its March declaration of a permanent ceasefire, it said France could no longer be a passive onlooker. Territory claimed by ETA goes beyond the Franco-Spanish border and France’s Basque country has been used as a base for ETA activities. France responded to ETA’s call saying that a political solution to decide the future of Spain’s Basque country fell under Spanish sovereignty. France at some point, however, is likely to be involved as 150 Basque prisoners are detained in French jails.