De Klerk to consider request to mediate in peace talks

2010-09-20 13:15

Former president FW de Klerk will consider mediating in the conflict between Basque separatists ETA and the Spanish government if formally asked, his spokesperson has said.

“Some time ago De Klerk, along with other Nobel laureates and international leaders, supported the call earlier this year for the cessation of violence in the Basque region. He is happy to see this take form,” Dave Steward said.

“He will consider mediation when the appropriate request has been made and after consulting with all parties involved, including the Spanish government.”

Yesterday ETA called for international mediation and vowed to go further to end the decades-old conflict for an independent Basque homeland, two weeks after Spain rejected its ceasefire for failing to renounce violence forever.

The armed group named four of the mediators for future talks: De Klerk, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Northern Ireland nationalist leader John Hume and former Irish Republic president Mary Robinson.

De Klerk and Nelson Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their roles in negotiating an end to apartheid, while Hume won it with former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble in 1998 for their role in resolving the Ulster conflict.

Tutu’s office said the cleric was out of the country sailing between Casablanca and Ghana.

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