Friday, April 09, 2004

'Open talks with bin Laden or it's war forever': "Former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam has called on the British and American governments to open talks with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda around a negotiating table. The former Labour MP for Redcar said that by carrying out military campaigns in the Middle East, Britain and the US were acting as a 'recruitment officer for the terrorists'.

"In a television interview which will be broadcast on Easter Sunday, she described the current hardline approach to the war on terror as 'completely counter-productive'. Ms Mowlam told Tyne Tees TV's Sunday Interview that Britain and America must open a dialogue with their enemies. Interviewer Tony Cartledge asked if she could imagine 'al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden arriving at the negotiating table'. She replied: 'You have to do that. If you do not you condemn large parts of the world to war forever. 'Some people couldn't conceive of Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness getting to the table but they did.' She added: 'If you go in with guns and bombs, you act as a recruitment officer for the terrorists.'"

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