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Sinn Féin welcome for Basque direct dialogue

30 June, 2006

Sinn Féin chief negotiator Martin McGuinness has today welcomed the announcement by the Spanish premier, Jose Luis Zapatero, to open direct negotiations with ETA. The announcement, made yesterday opens the way for both direct dialogue between ETA and the Spanish government and the commencement of all party talks involving political parties in the Basque Country.

Speaking today McGuinness said:

"Sinn Féin welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister Zapatero yesterday to open direct negotiations with ETA.

"We also welcome the fact that he acknowledged the Basque Country's right to decide its own future.

"Sinn Fein has long argued that both through dialogue and the recognition of the right to self determination the causes of conflict in the Basque Country could be resolved.

"It is now incumbent on all concerned to do everything in their power to move this process forward. There is no reason for any delay in the commencement of all party talks." ENDS

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