SPAIN and France will create a joint police unit to investigate the Basque separatist group Eta.

Spanish PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said the deal was made during talks with French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy during the recent EU-Africa summit in Portugal.

“It is a qualitative step that will certainly bear fruit,” Zapatero said.

The announcement was made after two Spanish policemen were fatally shot on December 1 by suspected Eta members in the resort town of Capbreton in southern France.

Two suspects in the case have been arrested but a third remains at large.