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TOWARD THE END OF ETA

Mediators give ETA six months to fully disarm

Commission will shut down unless terrorist organization can reach a comprehensive agreement with the Spanish government

Luis R. Aizpeolea

The International Verification Commission has given ETA six months to take steps toward a definitive disarmament or risk losing the international protection afforded it by the panel.

The political leadership of ETA had been residing in Norway under international protection since announcing a unilateral end to armed operations in October 2011. The commission had hoped to facilitate a meeting between the Spanish government and ETA in Norway but the idea was rejected by Spanish authorities, which are still seeking to bring remnants of the organization's political leadership, led by Josu Urrutikoetxea, to justice.

When its presence in Norway became public knowledge, authorities there expelled the leadership. The commission, which will shut down talks if no progress is made, wants movement on three fronts: disarmament, recognition of the harm caused to victims and acceptance of a non-blanket deal for the release of ETA prisoners.

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