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ACT Seeks Snap Debate On NZ Response To Terrorism

ACT leader Richard Prebble has asked the Speaker for an urgent debate in Parliament tomorrow to discuss New Zealand's response to the United States' call for world-wide assistance in the war against terrorism.

"President Bush declared war on terrorism over the weekend. This is an event of the highest significance," Mr Prebble said.

"The matter requires an urgent response because the Americans have stated they are seeking world-wide assistance. Our Parliament should debate not only how we should respond, but the response that has already been made.

"One of the responses that our Prime Minister has already made is to declare that New Zealand is no longer bound by the ANZUS treaty and that the US 'would have no obligation' to defend New Zealand.

"This is a very significant action by the Executive. Up until today, no New Zealand government has publicly claimed that we are anything more than suspended from ANZUS. No Prime Minister, Foreign Minister or Defence Minister has stated that we do not expect our ANZUS allies to come to our assistance should we be attacked.

"It is difficult to think of a more significant government action. It should certainly be debated by the House," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS


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