Monday, August 25, 2008

Switzerland: We should talk to Osama

Mon, 25 Aug 2008 18:24:53 GMT

The Swiss Foreign Minister says ruling parties must be willing to hold direct talks with Osama bin Laden if they wish to tackle terrorism.
In a Monday address to the annual conference of Swiss ambassadors in Bern, Micheline Calmy-Rey defended the idea of holding dialogue even with groups that are considered by major powers as persona non grata. "This even goes as far as sitting down at the same table as Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden," Calmy-Rey (calmly) said.
She explained that organizations such as Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, considered by some countries as 'beyond the pale', are all 'essential in the search for a resolution' of major conflicts worldwide. "The only force we have ever had is that of words," Calmy-Rey stressed. Unlike other countries, there are no banned entities proscribed under the Swiss legislation. Switzerland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and has often served as an intermediary between sides at loggerheads. Calmy-Rey, however, cautioned that dialogue could sometimes lead to tension and 'complex political blockages'. (Source)


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