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Clark Misleading NZ Media

Clark Misleading NZ Media

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said that Helen Clark's statement justifying New Zealand's statement to the Security Council is totally misleading.

"New Zealand is taking an ideological stance along France and Germany, in favour of the United Nations administering a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. The reason for the French and German position is well known - it's commercial. France supplied much of Saddam Hussein's armaments and German companies have been heavily involved in engineering projects in Iraq. Both these countries fear that in an allied administered Iraq they will lose their commercial advantage," Mr Prebble said.

"Why New Zealand is supporting a UN administration of Iraq is in no way clear except it is consistent with the strong anti-American stance our Government is taking.

"Dispassionate observers have stated that it is completely unrealistic to expect the United Nations to be able to administer a country the size of Iraq. We're talking about a population of 26 million and a land area the size of France. The UN has never administered a territory that large, or anything approaching that size.

"It is totally misleading for Helen Clark to tell New Zealand media that New Zealand's position is the same as Britain's. It is not. Britain and the United States are quite willing for the UN to have an involvement in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq but as the two countries, under international law, have an obligation to administer post-Saddam Hussein Iraq humanely, they know that what countries like NZ are saying is completely impractical.

"The statement by Lord Owen - who administered Bosnia after the Balkan conflict - is worth the New Zealand media's attention. Lord Owen is in no way a Tony Blair disciple. He has publicly stated that from his practical experience the sort of UN administration that France and New Zealand are calling for is completely unworkable. He has gone so far as to accuse France of putting its commercial interests ahead of the humanitarian needs of the people of Iraq post-Saddam Hussein," said Mr Prebble.

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