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