MADRID Nov 25 Spain's government rejected an
offer of talks from armed Basque separatists ETA and demanded
the group dissolve itself without conditions, after ETA called
for negotiations on prisoners and a weapons handover.
ETA said in a statement published in Basque media on the
weekend it wanted to enter talks with Spain and France to
negotiate a definitive end to military operations and a handover
of its arms.
"The only statement we expect and demand is for its
unconditional dissolution," Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez
Diaz told reporters on Sunday.
"They know we have not negotiated and won't negotiate at all
with a terrorist organization."
A year ago ETA announced an end to a four-decade armed
struggle for independence in which more than 800 people were
killed, but did not fully halt operations or turn over its
weapons. The group has broken ceasefires in the past.
ETA has been significantly weakened in recently years, as
many of its leaders have been arrested and arms caches seized.
Hundreds of ETA prisoners are in jail across Spain. The
group wants talks on having them moved to the Basque region in
return for dismantling its military structure and turning in
ETA said in the statement successful talks on these areas
"would bring about a definitive end of the armed conflict".