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Greens send Howard a message

Greens send Howard a message

The Green Party has written a letter to visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard, outlining its opposition to military action against Iraq and asking Mr Howard to reconsider his commitment to a US-led invasion.

"Our strong preference was for Mr Howard's visit to be postponed until the crisis he's helped precipitate is resolved," said Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today. "Now he's here, we want him to understand that this war is unacceptable to most New Zealanders.

"Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has made it clear that she will not be attempting to communicate the peace message to Mr Howard. She has, however, agreed to pass on our letter to him."

The letter (which follows) outlines the key objections to war at this time, with or without UN endorsement.

"We have reminded Howard that this war will kill hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Co-leader Rod Donald said. "That isn't 'regime-change,' that's genocide.

"The world could have as little as a week left to dissuade Bush, Blair and Howard from launching an immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq. It is imperative that they understand the consequences of their actions."

The Green MPs will not be attending the state luncheon at Parliament to honour Howard on Monday. Instead, they will be attending peace rallies in Auckland and Wellington organised to coincide with the visit.

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