France said on Friday it wanted Basque separatist group ETA to completely disarm and would continue to work with the Spanish government to end Europe's last major guerrilla conflict.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero declined to comment on a statement from ETA earlier in the day which called for direct dialogue with the French government, saying Paris had not received a copy.

In a statement sent to French news agency AFP, ETA charged President Nicolas Sarkozy's government with neglecting the right of Basques to decide their future.

The Basque people hope that the French government responds positively to end definitively the consequences of this conflict by beginning direct negotiations with ETA, the statement said, as cited by AFP.

The statement came five months after ETA said it was abandoning four decades of armed struggle and asked for talks with the Spanish and French governments.

After the ETA announcement on October 20 we are waiting like Spain for the terrorist organisation to announce the complete disarmament of its members, Valero told reporters.

ETA has not referred to disarmament in a string of statements issued in 2011 calling for talks. Successive Spanish governments have ruled out talks since ETA broke a previous ceasefire in 2006 and called on the group to disband.

However, recently elected Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government has said it is willing to look into relocating hundreds of its jailed members - one of ETA's demands - on a case-by-case basis.

Hundreds of arrests and waning support have weakened the guerrilla group, whose fighters have killed more than 800 people in a campaign of bombings and shootings to carve out an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southeast France.

A newly formed leftist Basque party which wants independence from Spain by peaceful means, meanwhile won an astounding seven seats in November 20 parliamentary elections and surpassed moderate Basque nationalists PNV.

For years ETA fighters were able to hide out in France, where they did not organise attacks.

However in recent years French security forces have cracked down and arrested many ETA members north of the Pyrenees as French and Spanish authorities have improved co-ordination.

France stands by Spain and the government to bring an end to the violence, Valero said.

(Reporting by John Irish; Writing by Martin Roberts in Madrid; Editing by Angus MacSwan)