Three questions to Jonathan Powell on why to talk to terrorists

Jonathan Powell, British diplomat and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s chief of staff, one of the architects behind the Good Friday peace agreement on Northern Ireland and founder of the NGO Inter Mediate, participated in FBA’s seminar in Almedalen on Tuesday 30th of June.

He recently published the book “Talking to Terrorists” where he advocates that sooner or later we always need to negotiate with terrorists; and why not sooner?

Why should governments talk to ISIS or Boko Haram?

Looking back in history, every time we meet a new terrorist organisation we say we will not talk to them and every time so far we eventually have done so to create a peace process. If this process has happened to PLO and IRA – why not for al-Qaida or ISIS?

Can you be friends with a terrorist?

As a negotiatior you need to be trusted by them and you need to have a working relationship with them. If you become friends you can fall into a “Stockholm syndrome” since they often are underdogs.

The Middle East is more unstable than in many years – what’s your prediction on the near future?

I believe we’re making a mistake to think that the Arab spring has ended. Every revolution has a counter revolution and I believe we’re looking at the middle of the Arab spring saying that it’s over, when this is just the beginning.

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Executive Summary: Report on UN-FBA joint Learning Forum on Youth, Peace and Security

On 5-7 December 2018, FBA hosted a joint UN learning forum on youth, peace and security. This is an executive summary of the forum that was held at the island of Sandö, Sweden.

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2019

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

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    The importance of inclusive peace processes

    Conflict resolution practitioners have had to grapple with a changing and dynamic environment for the last three decades.

    Prior to the ending of the Cold War many conflicts were between two countries or more, and the resolution was often reached through either victory or defeat, or an agreement between the states at the elite level.

    Today, the international armed conflict environment and the prospects for peaceful resolution has significantly changed. Most conflicts now are of an internal civil ... Read entire post »

    2019-02-27 14:00
  • Posted by Christian Altpeter

    Reflections on the year that passed – and on the glue that holds society together

    December often is a time to look back at the year that has passed and like everywhere else, at FBA it is part of the job. It comes with filing reports, tying up loose ends and ensuring all paper work is in order before the new year starts, and with it a new budget and new projects.

    Another part of the job working for FBA and the Dialogue and Peace Mediation Unit is traveling. Over the past ... Read entire post »

    2018-12-27 10:14
  • Posted by Ludmila Ceban

    Escalation in Ukraine

    No one could have missed the recent escalated Russian aggression against Ukraine. While the daily casualties in Donbas (reportedly over 1300 ceasefire violations per day) tend to receive less media coverage, the declared martial law covering ten regions of Ukraine came as a reality check of sorts.

    Possible limitations on individual rights and freedoms remain to be seen, but there are apparent concerns about how the law might affect Ukraine’s long struggle for democracy. Efforts to strengthen ... Read entire post »

    2018-12-18 11:00
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Taleb Sobeh

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