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Bodley Head buys title from Blair's ex-chief of staff
10.11.11 | Charlotte Williams
Tony Blair's former chief of staff is writing a book for The Bodley Head about the intricacies of negotiations between governments and terrorist organisations.
Publishing director Will Sulkin bought world English rights to Talking to Terrorists by Jonathan Powell from Natasha Fairweather at A P Watt. The book will be published in May 2013. It looks at the world of secret negotiations between terrorist groups and governments, using interviews with negotiators, government officials and formers terrorists. It also introduces a historical perspective, with case studies from the 19th century to the present day.
Powell, working first in the foreign office and then as Tony Blair’s chief of staff, played a key role in UK government negotiations on issues such as the return of Hong Kong to China, human rights and arms control in the Soviet Union, as well as German unification and the Northern Ireland peace talks.
Sulkin said: "No one is better placed than Jonathan Powell to write a book about negotiating with the enemy: he has first-hand experience in Northern Ireland, Europe, Asia and Africa . . . Talking to Terrorists will take us to the heart of these secret, dangerous, incredibly difficult negotiations, with a historical sweep that covers more than a hundred years."
Powell has now established an NGO, Inter Mediate, which acts as a negotiator between governments and terrorist groups. It is currently active in six countries.