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Goff condemns suicide attacks


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

3 December 2001

Goff condemns suicide attacks

Foreign Minister Phil Goff said he was shocked by the latest suicide bombing in Israel which he has described as an appalling tragedy.

“New Zealand condemns unequivocally the use of terror, and this country’s thoughts and sincere condolences are with those affected and their families at this terrible time.

“When I met with Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres in New York recently I made the point that in New Zealand’s view violence only begets further violence. Yet again, innocent people are paying the price for extremists’ ruthless pursuit of their causes. The vicious cycle of brutality, where each act of violence is reciprocated by the other side, and the accompanying suffering on both sides must stop.

“The people behind these attacks must be brought to justice. New Zealand welcomes the Palestinian Authority’s undertaking to cooperate, and calls on Chairman Arafat do what he can to arrest the perpetrators. The imposition of a state of emergency is a useful first step, but much more remains to be done.

“I note the arrival of US envoy General Anthony Zinni in the region and hope that this latest tragedy will not be allowed to impact on peace efforts. I hope the Israeli blockade and other responses will not be incompatible with the search for a lasting peace.

“These attacks should not become yet another trigger for grievances and suffering.

“Terrorism cannot be allowed to derail efforts for peace. The international community must encourage parties to work to resume talks. There is no question that Israel has a right to exist, and its civilians have the right to live in security.

“Equally, the Palestinian people must have the right to their own homeland and the opportunity socially and economically to create a better life for themselves.

“Only a negotiated agreement between the parties, and the coming into being of a viable Palestinian state, can bring this about. The efforts of those committed to a durable peace deserve our strongest support,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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