A group of politicians who were involved in Ireland's peace process are to travel to Spain in an effort to broker an agreement between Basque separatists and the Spanish government.

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern, former British prime minister Tony Blair and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, TD, are among those involved.

The Basque problem is the last such conflict within EU borders and efforts to end it have been made before and failed.

But there are growing indications that a series of significant events will happen in the coming weeks.

Norwegian diplomats and Mr Blair's former chief of staff, Jonathan Powell are among those who have been working behind the scenes ahead of the forthcoming visit and Ireland's peace process is the template that has been used in the discussions.

One scenario would see a statement made at the end of a conference next Monday creating the space for direct negotiations between the Basques and the Spanish authorities.