24 March 2006

Sinn Fein 'involved in Eta move'


Eta announced a ceasefire on Wednesday

It has been reported in Spain that senior Sinn Fein politicians were involved in the negotiations which led to the Eta ceasefire.

The ceasefire by the Basque terrorist group came into effect at midnight.

One newspaper, El Mundo, says that former Belfast Lord Mayor Alex Maskey was an architect of the process.

North Belfast assembly member Gerry Kelly is also said to have been involved. Belfast priest Father Alex Reid has confirmed he played a role.

Eta has been blamed for killing more than 800 people in its four-decade campaign for independence for the Basque region of northern Spain and south-west France.

In a statement released to Basque media on Wednesday, the group said its objective now was "to promote a democratic process in the Basque country".

It urged both Spain and France to enter into peace negotiations.

The European Union on Thursday welcomed the ceasefire, saying it was a "very positive sign".

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