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Frost thickens between Washington and Wellington

Frost thickens between Washington and Wellington

Helen Clark's message to the UN Security Council on Iraq will put us further out in the cold as the frost thickens between New Zealand and its traditional allies, according to National Party Leader Bill English.

"At this point when our allies need our support, the National Party's appalled by the Government's message to our closest friends

"Helen Clark's Government can't tell the difference between our friends and our enemies," Mr English says.

"The Government's statement to the UN makes no distinction between Saddam Hussein's vicious regime and the allied forces aiming to over-turn it.

"It's an outrage to have made this kind of statement while the forces of our traditional allies are putting lives on the line," says Mr English.

"Almost no-one disagrees that Saddam Hussein's regime must be brought to an end.

"Our Government's merely hiding behind UN-speak as it continues with its irrelevant commentary from the sidelines," he says. "The Government should be calling on Saddam Hussein to surrender to save lives on both sides of the conflict.

"But Helen Clark knows her message to the UN will hardly make a ripple, because we no longer have any influence with our traditional allies," says Mr English.

"The Prime Minister's broken earlier promises to provide personnel to help rebuild Iraq and she's been left watching the war on CNN like the rest of us.

"It's now pretty clear she's not even talking now to our very, very, very close friends, instead Helen Clark's putting them in the same category as a brutal dictator," Mr English says.

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