CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – TALIBAN & THE AL-QAEDA CONNECTION – 16 May 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: Is it not rather depressing that after everything that has happened in Afghanistan and, in particular, to the former Taliban regime there, people in the Taliban have not learned their lesson that al-Qaeda is poison to them? That was shown by the demonstrations against the death of bin Laden on the part of the Pakistani Taliban. If the Taliban want to be part of a settlement, is it not time that they realised how poisonous the al-Qaeda connection has always been?

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Liam Fox): My hon. Friend makes a truly excellent point. We need to recognise that al-Qaeda involves violent political extremism that will guarantee no country and none of its people's safety and security. The quicker that those who have previously dallied with the Taliban recognise that that cannot be a route for peace and reconciliation in the long term, the better.]