Of course, there are many other reasons besides the flag with a big cross on it that Al-Qaeda would not appreciate Switzerland’s traditional status in the West as a neutral party. An infidel state is an infidel state, and the foreign minister should be aware that a willingness to talk would not protect the Swiss either from violent attacks or the creeping subversion of their laws and civil liberties. “Swiss foreign minister would ‘talk to bin Laden’,” from Agence France-Presse, August 25:
GENEVA – 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, who has raised both eyebrows and hackles with her controversial style, 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-Qaida 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”….
Yes, Europe once had one of those. Around about 1938…