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Commonwealth Wimps Out On Zimbabwe

Commonwealth Wimps Out On Zimbabwe - What Will Goff Do Now?

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has wimped out on Zimbabwe, and the repressive tactics of President Robert Mugabe, and he hopes the New Zealand Government will not take a similar stance.

"So far, New Zealand has been all over the place on the Zimbabwe issue."

"Last year, when I called for President Mugabe to be banned from the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting due to be held in Brisbane last October, Foreign Minister Phil Goff opposed the suggestion, saying then he preferred that President Mugabe was present to hear face-to-face the criticism of his regime."

"Yet two weeks ago, Mr Goff was calling for Zimbabwe's immediate suspension from the Commonwealth and calling for CMAG to act accordingly."

"Now they have failed to do so, where does that leave Mr Goff?"

"Is this yet another case of one of his harangues from afar that no-one takes any notice of, or will we see yet another policy flip-flop?"

"Does New Zealand support President Mugabe going to Brisbane for CHOGM in March, or doesn't it?"

"What diplomatic and political steps is New Zealand taking to make clear its opposition to President Mugabe's repression, or was Mr Goff's angry press statement the limit of New Zealand's policy response?" Mr Dunne asks.

Mr Dunne says it was time for more consistency in New Zealand's foreign policy.

"We properly oppose international terrorism and show the hand of friendship to its innocent refugees and victims - Mr Mugabe is guilty of the same type of terrorism against his own people, and we should be equally prepared to act against him," Mr Dunne says.

Ends

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