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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 14:05 GMT
Venezuela denies 'Eta men' deal
Eta members announce ceasefire, March 2006
Extradited Eta members will not receive compensation
The Venezuelan government has said it will not give citizenship to four Spanish men suspected of involvement with the Basque separatist group Eta.

The announcement comes after a meeting in Caracas between Venezuela's foreign minister and the Spanish ambassador.

Spanish media had previously reported a deal in which the four Eta suspects would become naturalised Venezuelans, avoiding any potential extradition.

The four men have lived in Venezuela as political refugees since the 1980s.

There are no warrants for the arrest of Eugenio Barrutiabengoa, Lorenzo Ayestaran, Miguel Angel Aldana and Jesus Ricardo Urteaga in Spain.

No requests for their extradition have been made.

No compensation

Tuesday's meeting between Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and the Spanish ambassador, Raul Morodo, also resulted in an official denial that any financial compensation would be paid to two Eta suspects extradited to Spain in 2002.

Earlier this week, Spanish media reported that Sebastian Etxaniz and Juan Victor Galarza were to be paid thousands of dollars in compensation by the Venezuelan government.

The BBC's Danny Wood in Madrid says that until now, diplomatic relations between Madrid and Caracas have been good, but these reports have come at a sensitive time in the Basque peace process, launched by the Spanish government in June.

Street violence in the Basque region has increased in recent weeks, and French police have arrested Eta suspects in connection with a robbery at an arms factory.

Eta is blamed for the deaths of more than 800 people since it began an armed struggle for Basque independence in the 1960s.


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