ETA on Tuesday issued a statement warning of “negative consequences” arising from the Spanish government’s refusal to negotiate with the terrorist organization while its leadership has been in Norway. In the message, published by the Basque daily Gara and dated March 17, ETA describes Norway’s decision to eject four of its leaders involved in the dialogue as a “clear backward step.”
ETA claims that Spain and France are responsible for the breakdown of negotiations to bring about a definitive end to the conflict and accuses the intelligence services of sabotaging the talks. It also said that disarmament was not in the original mandate of the international mediators assigned to the negotiations — despite being the firm demand of the Spanish state for any starting point for negotiations.
The organization stated that it was happy to discuss disarmament within the “agenda of dialogue” and spoke again of the issue of ETA prisoners and of its members who are on the run.
“ETA has behaved in a serious and constructive manner,” said the statement, which accused the French and Spanish governments of using the issue of disarmament “to hide their responsibility for the blockage on the \[peace\] process.”