Saturday, March 15, 2008

UK dismisses al-Qaeda talks call

BBC says, "A call by a former senior aide to Tony Blair for the UK to start talks with al-Qaeda has been dismissed as "inconceivable" by the government. Jonathan Powell, an ex Downing Street chief of staff, told the Guardian the Northern Ireland peace deal showed talking to terror groups could work. He also said he would talk to Hamas in Gaza if he still worked at Number 10.The Foreign Office said the government would not talk to any group actively promoting its aims through violence.Mr Powell was one of the key negotiators for the government in reaching a settlement in Northern Ireland during Mr Blair's time at Number 10.BBC political correspondent James Hardy said Mr Powell now believes that deal would not have been possible without secret channels being opened to the IRA three decades earlier.In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Powell said talks with al-Qaeda might seem pointless at present, but ultimately a political solution would need to be developed alongside a security response.It is inconceivable that Her Majesty's government would ever seek to reach a mutually acceptable accommodation with a terrorist organisation like al-Qaeda "

I am astonished. A Labour government brokered a peace in N Ireland by talking to terrorists, giving them get Out of Jail Free cards and making them government ministers. I would have expected them to send McGuinness or Adams off with Tony Blair to talk to Osama. it would be more consistent than this hypocritical response. But perhaps Tony is too busy collecting sinecures to supplement his pension.

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