After a 43-year campaign of violence that has left many dead and injured, the armed Basque secessionist group ETA is finally renouncing armed struggle as a way to achieve a Basque homeland. And so doing, have asked the governments of Spain and France to open talks.

The group made the announcement in a statement Thursday to the Basque daily Gara which it regularly uses as a mouthpiece.

ETA declared a permanent cease-fire in January, but up to now had not renounced armed struggle as a tool for achieving an independent Basque state, a key demand by the Spanish government.

The group has killed 829 people in bombings and shootings since the late 1960s. It is classified as a terrorist organization by Spain, the European Union and the U.S.

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