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Government pulls NZ from defence coalition

Max Bradford National Defence and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

19 March 2001

Government pulls NZ from defence coalition

The Government withdrawing New Zealand's contribution to the American-led coalition in Kuwait further distances this country from our defence partners, National's Defence and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"It is a very serious step for New Zealand to withdraw from the coalition because it is not just one army person being withdrawn, it is New Zealand as a member of the United States-led coalition.

"This is another slap in the face of our friends, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia particularly.

"By not replacing Major McNutt we are withdrawing the New Zealand flag from the coalition. In doing this the Government has made the decision it doesn't care that Saddam Hussein manufactures weapons of mass destruction and creates instability in the Middle East.

"It is not a step that should have been taken without debate in Parliament, just as the original decision to join the coalition was taken by Parliament.

"This would appear to be a knee-jerk reaction to a terrible tragedy," Mr Bradford said.

Ends


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