THE LEVANT – The father of James Foley, the US reporter beheaded at the hands of Islamic State militants in August, said Friday he believed governments would have to negotiate with the extremists “eventually”.
The father of James Foley, the US reporter beheaded at the hands of Islamic State militants in August, said Friday he believed governments would have to negotiate with the extremists “eventually”.
John Foley told French radio: “Eventually, I think we are going to have to negotiate. This situation is not going to be solved by military intervention.”
He added that it costs nothing to talk to the militants who have rampaged through large parts of Iraq and Syria and whose brutal murder of several Western hostages, the first of which was the beheading of his son, has sent shockwaves through the international community.
Foley’s parents were in France for an unveiling Thursday, on the sidelines of the Bayeux prize for war reporting, of a memorial to 113 journalists who have been killed in the past 18 months.
James Foley, who worked for US media group GlobalPost, Agence France Presse (AFP) and others, was kidnapped in northern Syria in November 2012 and a video of his murder was published in August.
“These people need to be understood,” said Foley’s mother Diane. “I think we need to talk with them, we need to study them.”
Foley’s parents said they believed the US government “was trying very hard to find a way to free our son.”
Diane had previously told US media she felt the family’s “efforts to get Jim freed were an annoyance” to Washington.
Despite their loss, the Foleys urged reporters to continue their work in war zones.
“One of the problems is if we allow these terrorists to prevent journalists from going into these areas,” said John.