"The San Sebastián International Conference opens the way for the end of ETA," headlines Spanish daily El País. On October 17, civil society organisations and international mediators are meeting in the Basque city. They are expecting a "positive response from ETA to the final resolution" of the conference, which asks the armed Basque separatist movement to "definitely abandon arms," the paper notes. Organised at the initiative of the Basque separatists, those present at the meeting included members of International Contact Group, led by South African lawyer Brian Currin, who worked on the Irish conflict; former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan; former Irish president Bertie Ahern; and Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams.
British daily The Guardian, for its part, also announces the possible demise of ETA in the days to come, using a strategy employed to end the conflict in Northern Ireland. ETA "may follow the IRA's lead by calling on its members to use exclusively peaceful means without disbanding," the paper says. The conservative Parti Popular, which is expected to easily win general elections scheduled for November 20, has not focused as much attention on the Basque issue as it has in the past and its leader has been "careful not to comment" on any signs that ETA terrorist activity is winding down, the paper notes.
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