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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Mowlam: We must talk to al-Qaeda
Mo Mowlam
Mowlam plans a one-woman show
Mo Mowlam has called on the British and American governments to open talks with Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

In a TV interview to be broadcast on Sunday, the former Northern Ireland secretary describes the war on terror as "completely counter-productive".

And she says she will use her new one woman show to criticise government policy on Iraq and the Middle East.

Ms Mowlam, who stood down as Redcar MP in 2001, said the US and UK should open dialogue with their enemies.

In an interview with Tyne Tees television to be broadcast on Easter Sunday, Ms Mowlam said the UK and US were acting as a "recruitment officer for the terrorists" by carrying out military action in Iraq.

'Destruction'

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."

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell criticised Ms Mowlam's remarks.

"What possible result would there be from sitting down with al-Qaeda?" he asked.

"Their intention is to destroy the liberal values upon which our way of life is based.

"You cannot negotiate with those whose aim is your own destruction."





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