6 June 2007

Political reactions to ETA's end of ceasefire in Ireland

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has urged the Spanish government and the Basques to do everything in their power to put their peace process back on track.

The Sinn Fein leader issued the appeal after ETA declared an end to its latest ceasefire from midnight Tuesday. The West Belfast MP, who visited Madrid and the Basque Country last year to encourage both sides to develop their process of conflict resolution, expressed disappointment at the latest development.

"Everyone who has been involved in attempting to get aviable peace process operating in the Basque Country is disappointed at the breakdown in the process over recent months and today`s announcement from ETA ending its ceasefire," he said. "However, the lessons of the Irish peace process and indeed every conflict resolution process throughout the world tells us that it is now important to redouble efforts to put the process there back on track." "All sides should show restraint and do everything in their power to ensure that a process is put in place which can allow this conflict to be resolved peacefully through genuine dialogue and engagement."

The ETA decision was described by Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern last evening as "deeply disappointing".

"While the practical implications of today's announcement remain unclear, this is a retrograde step which can only delay the final resolution of a conflict which has scarredthe lives of so many," Mr Ahern said. "ETA's leadership and all those with influence over it should reconsider, and commit themselves to work for a resolution of all outstanding problems by purely peacefuland democratic means."

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