Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Hume has ruled himself out of any mediation role between Basque group ETA and the Spanish government.

A spokesman for Mr Hume's SDLP party said: 'John Hume is happy to support the Brussels Declaration on how to establish peace in the Basque country.

'He has retired from active political life and as a result will not be making himself available for any peace talks.'

ETA yesterday called for international mediation and vowed to go further to end the decades-old conflict for an independent Basque homeland.

The Spanish rejected its ceasefire two weeks ago for failing to renounce violence forever.

The armed group reportedly named four potential mediators for future talks including former President Mary Robinson, former South African president FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as Mr Hume.