A number of MEPs who have been supporting moves at EU level to peacefully resolve the conflict in the Basque Country have welcomed today's announcement concerning an independently verified disarmament process.
The independent International Verification Commission confirmed in Bilbao that ETA had 'sealed and put beyond use' a part of its arms.
Responding to the announcement, MEPs François Alfonsi (Corsica), Mark Demesmaeker (Flanders) and Inaki Irazabalbeitia (Basque Country) said in a joint statement:
"We welcome this decisive step forward in bringing a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Basque Country.
"The Spanish Government and European Union should seize this opportunity to move towards a permanent end to violence and build a lasting peace.
"We as MEPs have been calling upon the European Union to actively support the Basque peace process, as it did in Northern Ireland.
"The Basque conflict is a European conflict which concerns all of us. We all as Europeans have a role to play in supporting the peace process.
"Now is the time for dialogue in order to take this process forward and end this violent conflict that has lasted for over forty years.
"The European Union must give its full support to taking this process forward."