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National supports PM on nuclear weapons free zone

The National Opposition has endorsed the Prime Minister's intention of promoting a South Hemisphere nuclear weapons free zone during her visit to Chile this week.

In marked contrast to the criticism that National has directed towards the Government's plans to down-grade New Zealand's traditional defence forces, the Opposition's Foreign Affairs and Defence spokespersons, Simon Upton and Wayne Mapp say they strongly support the Prime Minister's initiative.

"Linking the Pacific, Latin America and Africa into a single weapons free zone would send a powerful signal about the seriousness with which nuclear weapons continue to be regarded by a large fraction of the international community.

"A National Government during the 1990s helped launch the New Agenda coalition of nations to build fresh momentum leading to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

"We fully endorse the Prime Minister's determination to work within the New Agenda Coalition to advance the issue.

"On this, at least, she can count on a continuation of the strongly bi-partisan approach that has under-written New Zealand's international advocacy for more than a decade now," the MPs said.

Ends

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