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Many European Leaders Reject Purported Bin Laden Truce Offer - 2004-04-15


A new audiotape purportedly from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was aired by two Arab satellite television stations. The man on the tape offers to stop acts of terror against European countries, but vowed to continue to fight the United States. The purported offer has been rejected by European leaders.

The man on the audiotape offered peace to European countries, but not to the United States.

Identified by two Arab satellite television stations as being the voice of Osama bin Laden, the man says all operations against European countries will be stopped in return for their promise not to attack Muslim countries.

The purported offer was dismissed by several European leaders as unworthy of consideration. The British foreign office branded it a cynical ploy, and other governments, including those of the European Union, Spain, and Germany said there will be no negotiation with terrorists.

The man speaking on the tape says the truce with Europe will begin as soon as all European soldiers leave Islamic nations. He said there would be no truce with America.

The message vowed revenge against the United States for Israel's killing last month of militant Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin. The tape says American policy ignores what is described as "the real problem", which the voice says is the occupation of Palestine.

The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified. The last tape said to be from the al-Qaida leader was aired by the Qatar based al-Jazeera satellite television station in January.

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