SNP MEP In Basque Peace Talks

23 November 2007
SNP Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith is today (Friday) en route to Bilbao in the Basque country to take part in peace talks.

The conference, organised by Eusko Alkartasuna will take place in the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, and will hear of the experience of Czech Republic, the current negotiations in Belgium as well as hear from the Chief of Staff to the Kosovan Prime Minister about how Kosovo will develop in the coming years.

Mr Smith will present upon the Scottish experience and how the SNP civic nationalism has achieved so much, as Alex Salmond has put it, "without so much as a bloody nose".

Speaking from Edinburgh before the meeting, Mr Smith said:

"I'm looking forward to getting back to Bilbao, it is a great city and the Basques are so friendly it is like visiting family.

"Of course, a small element of their society is not so friendly with each other, and the Basque history of violence has blighted politics there.

"Coming from a Scottish perspective it is difficult to imagine howviolence could be a part of politics, but we can be an example to ourEuropean colleagues and I'm looking forward to hearing about how so many other European countries and nations are talking about independence as well."