UN Secretary General calls on ETA to reinstate ceasefire

During his official visit to Spain yesterday, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, called on ETA to reinstate the ceasefire which it called off just 2 days ago. He also expressed his firm support for the Spanish government and Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

During a press conference with the Spanish president Ban Ki-moon said that he denounced violence and was sure that the international community would stand by Spain. He also added that there was no justification for terrorism. He urged ETA to make an effort to return to the ceasefire and said that all conflicts of opinion should be resolved peacefully and that there could not be dialogue if there was violence.

This statement was made on his own initiative. Yesterday the European parliament also gave its support to the Spanish government when the European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini, denied a representative from Batasuna the right to hold official talks.

Ban also praised the ‘Alliance of Civilisations’ which has been promoted by Zapatero whereas Zapatero spoke about Spain’s support for multilateralism and said that Spain identified itself with the objectives and methods followed by the UN – peace, human rights and world stability.

Spain has 2,800 troop in different parts of the world such as Lebanon, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Bosnia, helping UN peacekeeping efforts.

Meanwhile, Spanish government officials who met with Ban spoke of the need for more Spanish representation in the UN organization and according to official sources Ban asked for a list of names in order to correct this situation.