Written Answers - Foreign Conflicts

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 722 No. 3

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  12.  Deputy Martin Ferris  Information on Martin Ferris  Zoom on Martin Ferris   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if there has been any discussion of the recent Basque peace process initiative at an EU level; if he has been in contact with the Spanish Government in relation to the issue; if he will do all he can to encourage the development of the peace process in the Basque country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43328/10]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  There has been no recent discussion of the Basque situation at EU level. As I indicated in my reply to a question of 12 October, I have regular contact with the Spanish Foreign Minister, including at Foreign Affairs Council meetings in Brussels. Our bilateral discussions cover the range of issues relevant to our valued bilateral and historic relationship with Spain, including in the EU context.

I would be supportive of measures that could contribute to the permanent ending of violence by ETA. The assessment of what would be most useful in this context is a matter for the Spanish authorities.

I have noted the statements by the Spanish Government and indeed by other political parties and groups in Spain on the recent ETA ceasefire announcements, including their disappointment that the announcements by ETA do not imply a permanent cessation of violence.

I also note that active consultations are continuing among all democratic parties on how the Basque Government could best take forward the search for peace. I very much welcome this process.

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