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NZ Absention on UN Middle East Resolution - Locke

Locke Criticises NZ Absention on UN Middle East Resolution

Green MP Keith Locke has criticised the government for abstaining on yesterday's UN resolution on the Middle East crisis.

"I spoke to a Palestinian rally in Auckland today, telling the people I was ashamed New Zealand had not supported the resolution," said Mr Locke, the party's Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

"The UN General Assembly was quite right to condemn Israel for 'excessive use of force' against Palestinian civilians.

"The US reason for opposing the resolution was that it was 'one-sided'. New Zealand should not go along with this cop-out.

"There is no question that Israel has massively over-reacted to Palestinian stone-throwers.

"The UN resolution also correctly pinpoints Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza as central to the problem, describing them as'illegal and obstacles to peace'.

"While sheeting the primary blame home to Israel, the UN resolution was moderate and constructive. It condemns 'acts of violence' and calls for a resumption of peace talks, and 'the speedy conclusion of the final settlement agreement between the two sides'.

"New Zealand has taken a principled position on conflicts closer to home, in Timor and Fiji. We shouldn't run for cover when faced with the agony of Palestine today," said Mr Locke.

For further information today phone Keith Locke



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