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New Zealand Response To US Attacks

The New Zealand Government has extended sympathy to the United States following attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Acting Prime Minister Jim Anderton has sent a message to US President George Bush on behalf of New Zealanders. The message reads:

"Mr President. We have heard with disbelief and shock of the events in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania over the last few hours. The people of New Zealand will share your, and the international community's, sense of outrage and pain, especially for the loss of so many innocent lives. Our thoughts are with you and with the American people."

Mr Anderton said there is no evidence of any threat to New Zealand, but security had been upgraded at New Zealand airports.

"Officials met overnight and assessed New Zealand's security situation. They have been in touch with American authorities and there will be ongoing monitoring and assessment.

"We must see this attack not only as an attack on the United States, but as an attack on all civilised nations. It is imperative for all nations to work together to recover as quickly as possible from the attacks in order that terrorists know they cannot bring the world to its knees through these attacks.

"New Zealand is a small country and the United States is very large, but we will stand ready to offer help in any way we can," Jim Anderton said.

Officials are working to identify whether any New Zealanders were victims of the attacks.

Further details of effects of the attacks and measures being taken in response will be released by the New Zealand Government as details become available.

Ends

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