Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu
Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu addresses the audience at USIP.
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In March 2006, the Basque Separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) declared a permanent ceasefire without negotiating a previous comprehensive political agreement with the Spanish Government.

This first permanent cease-fire in ETA's bloody history arose from a complex combination of circumstances, including massive popular campaigns against violence, the political impact of a proposal by moderate Basque nationalists for a new Statute of Autonomy, and the election of a new Spanish administration disposed to new approaches toward the Basque issue.

Although the ceasefire may be the end to 40 years of ETA violence, it is not an end to the Basque problem. Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu, President of the Basque Government, will discuss the opportunities created by the ceasefire to advance a political resolution to this long-standing conflict. The Basque President is especially interested in hearing about ideas and options that have been proved effective for transforming similar situations in other peace processes around the world. He will address questions such as:

  • What is the Basque conflict and what are the keys to resolving it?
  • How was the ceasefire announcement achieved and what is its significance?
  • What are the next steps for the Basque community, both its leaders and its civil society?
  • How can the international community support a definitive resolution of the conflict?


  • Juan José Ibarretxe Markuartu
    President of the Basque Government
  • J. Robinson West, Moderator
    Chairman of the Board of Directors, United States Institute of Peace
    Chairman, PFC Energy, Washington, D.C.

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