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Clark acting in concert with US and Australia

Dr Wayne Mapp National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

27 January 2003

Clark acting in concert with US and Australia

The Prime Minister needs to say where the New Zealand government stands in relation to Iraq, says National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp.

"There is much confusion about what Helen Clark has been saying about a possible war with Iraq.

"In light Australian Prime Minister John Howard asking for an extension of time for the weapons inspectors, it would appear that Helen Clark is working with Australia and the United States in the next step forward in the Security Council.

"Helen Clark's forecasting, last week, that the UN Security Council may have a further two-stage resolution process implies that the New Zealand government has a clear sense of what it expects from the Security Council.

"The Prime Minister has always said New Zealand would be engaged if there was a UN resolution - she seems to be forecasting a pathway for this.

"New Zealand has already made a significant commitment in the Gulf. We have deployed our entire navy, plus a Hercules and an Orion, to the Gulf, ostensibly to defeat terrorism, but these troops are obviously in place to participate in any UN authorised operations.

"Helen Clark bringing home the SAS from Afghanistan can be interpreted as enabling them to be deployed to the Gulf.

"Ms Clark needs to explain more fully what the New Zealand government's view is regarding the next steps that the international community should take," Dr Mapp said.


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