An audiotape purported to be from Osama Bin Laden has been broadcast by the pan-Arab al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera satellite channels. In the tape the voice offers conditional reconciliation with Europe.
The following is the text of the tape as broadcast by al-Arabiya:
Praise be to Almighty God; Peace and prayers be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and companions.
This is a message to our neighbours north of the Mediterranean, containing a reconciliation initiative as a response to their positive reactions.
Praise be to God; praise be to God; praise be to God who created heaven and earth with justice and who allowed the oppressed to punish the oppressor in the same way.
Peace upon those who followed the right path:
'Oppression kills the oppressors'
In my hands there is a message to remind you that justice is a duty towards those whom you love and those whom you do not. And people's rights will not be harmed if the opponent speaks out about them.
The greatest rule of safety is justice, and stopping injustice and aggression. It was said: Oppression kills the oppressors and the hotbed of injustice is evil. The situation in occupied Palestine is an example. What happened on 11 September  and 11 March [the Madrid train bombings] is your commodity that was returned to you.
It is known that security is a pressing necessity for all mankind. We do not agree that you should monopolise it only for yourselves. Also, vigilant people do not allow their politicians to tamper with their security.
Having said this, we would like to inform you that labelling us and our acts as terrorism is also a description of you and of your acts. Reaction comes at the same level as the original action. Our acts are reaction to your own acts, which are represented by the destruction and killing of our kinfolk in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine.
The act that horrified the world; that is, the killing of the old, handicapped [Hamas spiritual leader] Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, may God have mercy on him, is sufficient evidence.
We pledge to God that we will punish America for him, God willing.
Which religion considers your killed ones innocent and our killed ones worthless? And which principle considers your blood real blood and our blood water? Reciprocal treatment is fair and the one who starts injustice bears greater blame.
As for your politicians and those who have followed their path, who insist on ignoring the real problem of occupying the entirety of Palestine and exaggerate lies and falsification regarding our right in defence and resistance, they do not respect themselves.
They also disdain the blood and minds of peoples. This is because their falsification increases the shedding of your blood instead of sparing it.
Moreover, the examining of the developments that have been taking place, in terms of killings in our countries and your countries, will make clear an important fact; namely, that injustice is inflicted on us and on you by your politicians, who send your sons - although you are opposed to this - to our countries to kill and be killed.
Therefore, it is in both sides' interest to curb the plans of those who shed the blood of peoples for their narrow personal interest and subservience to the White House gang.
We must take into consideration that this war brings billions of dollars in profit to the major companies, whether it be those that produce weapons or those that contribute to reconstruction, such as the Halliburton Company, its sisters and daughters.
Based on this, it is very clear who is the one benefiting from igniting this war and from the shedding of blood. It is the warlords, the bloodsuckers, who are steering the world policy from behind a curtain.
As for President Bush, the leaders who are revolving in his orbit, the leading media companies and the United Nations, which makes laws for relations between the masters of veto and the slaves of the General Assembly, these are only some of the tools used to deceive and exploit peoples.
All these pose a fatal threat to the whole world.
The Zionist lobby is one of the most dangerous and most difficult figures of this group. God willing, we are determined to fight them.
Based on the above, and in order to deny war merchants a chance and in response to the positive interaction shown by recent events and opinion polls, which indicate that most European peoples want peace, I ask honest people, especially ulema, preachers and merchants, to form a permanent committee to enlighten European peoples of the justice of our causes, above all Palestine. They can make use of the huge potential of the media.
I also offer a reconciliation initiative to them, whose essence is our commitment to stopping operations against every country that commits itself to not attacking Muslims or interfering in their affairs - including the US conspiracy on the greater Muslim world.
This reconciliation can be renewed once the period signed by the first government expires and a second government is formed with the consent of both parties.
The reconciliation will start with the departure of its last soldier from our country.
The door of reconciliation is open for three months of the date of announcing this statement.
For those who reject reconciliation and want war, we are ready.
As for those who want reconciliation, we have given them a chance. Stop shedding our blood so as to preserve your blood. It is in your hands to apply this easy, yet difficult, formula. You know that the situation will expand and increase if you delay things.
If this happens, do not blame us - blame yourselves.
A rational person does not relinquish his security, money and children to please the liar of the White House.
Had he been truthful about his claim for peace, he would not describe the person who ripped open pregnant women in Sabra and Shatila [reference to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon] and the destroyer of the capitulation process [reference to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process] as a man of peace.
He also would not have lied to people and said that we hate freedom and kill for the sake of killing. Reality proves our truthfulness and his lie.
The killing of the Russians was after their invasion of Afghanistan and Chechnya; the killing of Europeans was after their invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan; and the killing of Americans on the day of New York [reference to 11 September] was after their support of the Jews in Palestine and their invasion of the Arabian Peninsula.
Also, killing them in Somalia was after their invasion of it in Operation Restore Hope. We made them leave without hope, praise be to God.
It is said that prevention is better than cure. A happy person is he who learns a lesson from the experience of others.
Heeding right is better than persisting in falsehood.
Peace be upon those who follow guidance.
last updated: 04.15.2004