British Defence Secretary Browne supports talks with Taliban
(dpa) - Britain and other Western democracies should talk to radical groups like the Taliban and Hezbollah to find a political solution to conflicts around the world, Defence Secretary Des Browne said in an interview published Saturday.
"What you need to do in conflict resolution is to bring the people who believe that the answer to their political ambitions will be achieved through violence into a frame of mind that they accept that their political ambitions will be delivered by politics," Browne was quoted in the Daily Telegraph as saying.
Browne said there was no point in talking with the al-Qaeda terrorist network at present as "their demand is an end to our way of life."
The minister said his experiences working in Northern Ireland, where decades of bloody conflict have ended as a power-sharing government has been set up with former rivals working together, convinced him that lines of communication should be kept open.
"There are different varieties of these organizations ... There's no question that some of them, if we succeed, will transfer into the political dimension," he was quoted as saying.
Browne conceded that his views would be seen as controversial, but this was also the case for the discussions with Northern Ireland's terrorist organizations.