15 Mar 08. UK ‘should hold’ al-Qaeda talks. One of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s closest aides has said the government should start preparing to talk to al-Qaeda and the Taleban. Jonathan Powell told the Guardian the Northern Ireland peace deal showed talking to terror groups could ultimately work. He also said he would talk to Hamas in Gaza if he still worked at Number 10. The Foreign Office said the government would not talk to any group actively promoting its aims through violence. Mr Powell, who was Mr Blair’s chief of staff, was one of the key negotiators for the government in reaching a settlement in Northern Ireland. BBC political correspondent James Hardy said Mr Powell now believes that deal would not have been possible without secret channels being opened to the IRA three decades earlier. In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Powell said talks with al-Qaeda might seem pointless at present, but ultimately a political solution would need to be developed alongside a security response. He said: “There’s nothing to say to al-Qaeda and they’ve got nothing to say to us at the moment, but at some stage you’re going to have to come to a political solution as well as a security solution. “And that means you need the ability to talk. “If I was in government now I would want to have been talking to Hamas, I would be wanting to communicate with the Taleban and I would want to find a channel to al-Qaeda.” (Source: BBC)
09 Mar 08. Saab supplies Oskarshamn nuclear power station with physical security. Saab has signed a contract worth 392 MSEK with OKG Aktiebolag to supply Oskarshamn nuclear power station with physical security that meets the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate requirements. “We signed a similar contract to supply another Swedish nuclear power station with physical security in the middle of January. With this deal Saab now takes another important step into the area of civil security”, says Gunilla Fransson, Managing Director of Saab Communication. Having stable communications and a common understanding of the situation is a basic requirement for creating security. During 2008-2010 Saab will design and implement a surveillance system that is tailored for work in the surveillance centre of a nuclear power station. The system covers presentation systems, a network, systems for intruder alarms, cameras for surveillance and immediate verification of security perimeter alarms, pass control systems and systems guaranteeing uninterruptible power supply. Saab will supply a complete solution for OKG that includes all the above systems as a turnkey contract, including installation, delivery and civil work. The contract will be completed during 2010.