Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Thursday, 23 March 2006

Text: Eta declares ceasefire

Basque separatist militants Eta have declared a ceasefire after nearly 40 years fighting for independence.

The statement, published below, is the full text of the Eta declaration which was released in part on Wednesday. It first appeared in full on Thursday in the online version of the Basque newspaper Gara, the usual vehicle for Eta statements.

Message from Euskadi Ta Askatasuna [Eta] to the Basque people.

The Basque revolutionary socialist national liberation organisation Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Eta) wishes to make known via this declaration the following decision:

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna has decided to declare a permanent ceasefire as from 0000 (2300GMT) on 24 March 2006.

The aim of this decision is to promote a democratic process in Euskal-Herria (the Basque Country) in order that the Basque people might implement the political change they need through dialogue, negotiation and agreement.

Leaving behind the current framework of negation, partition and imposition, a democratic framework must be built for Euskal-Herria, recognising the rights as a people which are its due and guaranteeing the opportunity to develop all political options in the future.

At the end of this process, Basque citizens must have the say and the decision on their future, thus giving a democratic solution to the conflict.

Eta considers that it is for all Basque agents to develop this process and to adopt the appropriate agreements for the future of Euskal-Herria, taking into account its plurality and its totality.

The Spanish and French states must recognise the results of this democratic process, without interference or limitations of any kind. The decision we Basque citizens make on our future will have to be respected.

We call on all agents to act responsibly and to be consistent with the step taken by Eta.

It is time for agreements. We must all accept our responsibilities to build together the democratic solution which the Basque people need. It is time to take important decisions, moving from words to deeds.

Eta calls on the Spanish and French authorities to respond positively to this new situation, and not to obstruct the democratic process, leaving repression aside and showing the will to give a negotiated solution to the conflict .

Lastly, we call on Basque citizens in general and the members of the radical Basque nationalist Left in particular to get involved in this process and to fight for the rights as a people which are our due.

Eta expresses its desire and will for the process which has begun to reach its end, thereby achieving a truly democratic situation for Euskal-Herria, ending the long years of conflict and building a peace based on justice.

We reaffirm our commitment to continue taking steps in the future in accordance with this will and to keep fighting until we obtain the rights of Euskal-Herria.

Ending the conflict, here and now, is possible. This is the desire and the will of Eta.

Euskal Herria, March 2006

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna


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