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President Bush’s State of the Union address - PM

29 January 2003 Media Statement

President Bush’s State of the Union address

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today President Bush’s State of the Union address made it clear that the probability of military action against Iraq was increasing.

“As I said at my press conference yesterday, unless Iraq moves to comply substantively with resolution 1441 and UNMOVIC’s requirement of it, the United States is determined to pursue military action.

“The United States, however, is continuing to make its case through the multilateral process. The president said today that Secretary of State Colin Powell will ask to brief the United Nations Security Council on United States intelligence about Iraq on 5 February.

“I repeat my call of yesterday to Iraq to comply in full urgently with the resolution and the requirements of UNMOVIC. Not to do so will clearly provoke war with or without Security Council sanction.

“New Zealand has made it clear the use of force must be sanctioned by the United Nations. If war does proceed without such sanction, our focus will be on the post conflict era, where there will be a major task of rebuilding Iraq and meeting the humanitarian needs of its people,” Helen Clark said.


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