Swiss FM favours direct talks with bin Laden

Switzerland does not have any list of banned organisations to which it will not talk, unlike other countries.

Swiss FM favours direct talks with bin Laden

Switzerland's foreign minister told top diplomats on Monday she favours direct talks with Osama bin Laden to tackle the threat of "terrorism".

Micheline Calmy-Rey, told Swiss ambassadors gathered in the capital Bern that they needed to talk to "heavyweight political figures" on the world stage even if they are considered persona non grata by other powers.

"This even goes as far as sitting down at the same table as Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden," she said.

Switzerland does not have any list of banned organisations to which it will not talk, unlike other countries.

Calmy-Rey said that groups as diverse as Hezbollah, the FARC guerrillas in Colombia, Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda are all "essential in the search for a resolution" of different conflicts worldwide.

She stressed however that any dialogue did not mean "accepting the unacceptable," and conceded that it could sometimes lead to tensions and "complex political blockages".

More than 170 Swiss ambassadors and consular officials are meeting this week in Bern.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2008, 16:32
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