MADRID – Basque separatist group ETA says it has not abandoned its goal of an independent Basque state along the French-Spanish border despite giving up its arms.
In a communique Sunday in the Basque newspaper Gara, ETA said disarmament "wasn't going to be a bargaining chip, but rather a way to show the intransigence of the (Spanish and French) states and to further the independence movement."
Two weeks ago ETA gave French authorities a list of eight caches where police found weapons, ammunition and explosives in a historic step toward disarmament.
Inactive for over five years, the ETA killed 829 people, mostly in Spain, in a 43-year campaign for independence. Spain and France have both demanded it disband.
ETA made no mention of dissolving in Sunday's communique, its first since handing over its weapons.