12:31 GMT +322 May 2019
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    Police officers stand guard outside of a house after arresting two presumed member of the armed Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) in Osses on July 7, 2015.

    French Interior Minister Hails ETA Handing of List of Weapons Caches

    © AFP 2019 / Gaizka Iroz
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    French Interior Minister Matthias Fekl welcomed on Saturday a move by ETA, Basque separatist group, which provided the French authorities with a list of arms cashes as part of its disarmament program announced on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the information about the list of the arms cashes was confirmed by the International Verification Commission (IVC) during a press conference in the French Basque city of Bayonne.

    "This stage of neutralising an arsenal of arms and explosives is a major step," Felk was quoted as saying by the RTE broadcaster.

    Felk stressed that it was "an undeniably important day," adding that the inventory included eight sites, which would be checked by security forces soon.

    "As the locations are progressively identified, the security forces will carry out operations to secure these sites and secure arms and explosives that may be found there," the minister said.

    The ETA group (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or Basque Country and Freedom) founded in July 1959, operates in northern Spain and southwestern France. It is part of the Basque National Liberation Movement and its goal was to gain independence for the Greater Basque Country.

    Since the ETA formation, its activities have claimed lives of over 800 people. In 2011, ETA announced a "definitive cessation of its armed activity," however, this move did not entail disarmament.

    Tags:
    disarmament, the Basque Nationalist Party, ETA, France
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