Spanish Prime Minister Calls on Basque Terrorist Group ETA to Dissolve

Basque separatist group ETA to launch disarmament initiative

"We want to disarm ETA in its totality, effectively and in a shared way with all the forces of the Basque civil society", added Etcheverry.

"ETA has to do two things: disarm and dissolve itself", Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo told a news conference on Friday.

Spanish newspaper El País reported that ETA would use civil intermediaries to notify French legal authorities of the location of its weapons caches - thought to be mostly in France - so that they can then be put under the supervision of an worldwide committee.

The group is blamed for the deaths of 829 people in a four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings for an independent homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France.

Yes, but so far only part of the group's arsenal.

However, in recent years it has been sapped by the arrest of hundreds of members, including leadership figures, and the seizure of weapons caches. "The government of Spain will do what it always does, observe the law, to which all are equal", Rajoy said. They were charged with possession of explosives and weapons, released on bail and are awaiting trial.

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The interior minister said Eta "won't get anything in exchange".

Urkullu said his government had been informed of the possible disarmament, and said he hoped it would be "definitive, unilateral, irrevocable, complete and legal". He didn't mention the ETA disbanding.

A woman walks past some banners and graffiti representing the pro-independence armed Basque group ETA logo (L) and supporting ETA's political wing, banned party Batasuna (R), March 23, 2006 in the northern Spanish village of Alsasua, Navarra province.

Basque regional leader Inigo Urkullu said its government is ready to assist in the disarmament process and asked the governments of Spain and France to work to reach a permanent solution.

The economically powerful Basque region, which has a strong cultural identity and its own Basque language, is one of 17 semi-autonomous regions in Spain.