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NZ seeks international solution to Tampa crisis

31 August 2001 Media Statement

NZ seeks international solution to Tampa crisis


Prime Minister Helen Clark confirmed today that Australia yesterday asked whether New Zealand was prepared to be part of the resolution of the crisis caused by the asylum seekers aboard the Norwegian vessel, the Tampa.

The Australian Foreign Minister yesterday spoke to the New Zealand High Commissioner in Canberra to see whether New Zealand was prepared to assist in resolving the crisis.

Helen Clark also confirmed that overnight the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Geneva had approached New Zealand's Permanent Mission in Geneva to see if New Zealand was prepared to be part of an international solution.

The Prime Minister said that the government welcomed the internationalisation of the problem.

"New Zealand is examining whether it can be part of an international solution.

"I stress that New Zealand wants to ensure that there is the maximum discouragement of the practice of smuggling and trafficking people.

"It is urgent that Australia, Indonesia and international organisations reach an agreement about how to deal with intending asylum seekers who reach Indonesia," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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