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De Brún travels to Basque Country today

31 March, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will today travel to the Basque Country as part of a European Parliamentary Basque Friendship Group. The purpose of the visit will be to meet political parties, civil society organisations and to participate in a demonstration is support for the Basque Peace process.

Speaking before her departure de Brún said:

"In January of this year a Basque Friendship Group was formed in the European Parliament. It consists of MEPs from different political groups and countries. The purpose of the group is to support the Basque Peace Process.

"Our visit to the Basque Country this weekend is twofold. Firstly to get a first hand account of political developments since the ETA ceasefire announcement of last week. We will be meeting political parties, trade unions and social organisations. Secondly we will participate in a demonstration on Saturday organised by a broad range of Basque political forces is support of the peace process.

"From our experience in Ireland we understand that peace processes need international support. Particularly at the early stages of the process, the EU and the broader international community needs to express its support for dialogue and conflict resolution. This will be the message I bring to the meetings on Saturday.

"In this context the ongoing imprisonment of Batasuna leader Arnaldo Otegi is not only counterproductive but runs against the logic of conflict resolution. Sinn Fein believes that the Spanish government must grasp the opportunity for peace, release Arnaldo Otegi and end the political trials against Batasuna and other left nationalist political and social organisations."ENDS

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