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PM Says Today’s Military Action Inevitable

Prime Minister Helen Clark says that today’s military action against Taleban military and Al Queda targets was inevitable.

“Two weeks ago, President Bush delivered a clear and unequivocal message to the terrorists and to the Taleban, and any other government which harbours terrorists. The message was blunt: that they should hand them over Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, or prepare to share their fate.

“United Nations Security Council Resolutions going back two years, both in 1999 and 2000, urged the Taleban government of Afghanistan to hand over Osama bin Laden. The Taleban has always refused and refuses to this day.

“New Zealand supports the United States' determination to root out Al Qaeda and the other terrorist groups associated with it.

“The Taleban will now be under no illusion about the United States’ and the international community’s commitment to bring to justice the perpetrators of the September 11 atrocities.

“They should take immediate steps to hand over Osama bin Laden and all those associated with terrorism.”

Helen Clark said New Zealand was not involved in the attacks but that the Government had been informed of the strikes in advance.

“The Government believes that today’s military action is justified under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter which enables a nation to act in self-defence.”

Last Wednesday, the New Zealand Parliament overwhelmingly endorsed the approach taken by the United States and also declared its support for September’s UN Security Council Resolutions on the terrorist attacks.


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