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Helen Clark anti US comments

Helen Clark anti US comments

Presenter: How much of it is just the leader? like, if Bush goes, America becomes a different place?

Clark: … it’s a bit hard, for example, to see an Al Gore Presidency having delivered this. Bill Clinton as President, of course, was not averse to the odd bombing strike on those who incurred US displeasure but, again, it’s a bit hard to have seen this happening because Bill Clinton did like to work in with the rest of the international community. TVNZ Breakfast 24/3/03

Clark: "I don't think that September 11 under a Gore presidency would have had this consequence for Iraq. But I think in this (Bush) administration there were forces that always wanted to go after Iraq and September 11 tipped the balance." Sunday Star Times 30/3/03 But she said the US embassy in Wellington was out of line for issuing a public rebuke without first seeking to clarify them and without advising the Government. Embassy response: “While we have only seen media reports of what the Prime Minister said, we feel the embassy’s comment was appropriate and not out of line. We also have no further comment to make on the subject.” Dominion Post 7th April

Presenter: Why did you apologise?

Clark: Clearly offence had been taken, when none was intended, with respect to the Al Gore comment ... clearly it had caused offence and I asked our Ambassador in the US to convey an apology for that.

Presenter: Do you still mean it, what you said about Al Gore?

Clark: I'm really not going to go down that track again thank you.

Presenter: Do you regret saying the war wasn't going to plan?

Clark: Look I'm really not going down that track any further.

Presenter: So are you apologising because it caused offence or are you apologising because you genuinely didn't mean to say it?

Clark: Well both.

Presenter: So you don't actually believe what you said?

Clark: No, no, that's not the question you put to me and I don't intend to make any further comment on that particular comment. TVNZ Breakfast 7/4/03

Clark: “No offence was intended. Perception becomes reality. You deal with the perception and on that basis I have made it clear I apologise for any offence created.” She had drawn her “own conclusions” and decided what action was needed to put the matter right, she said. Clark: “I’m a politician, not a diplomat. People are usually left in no doubt what I mean.” Dominion says that Clark reportedly stated on Friday she “would not tolerate” an inference that New Zealand had been told off. Press conference Monday 7th April (from Dominion Post 8th April)

Helen Clark comments on Australian involvement in the war

Clark: "The bottom line is that this Government doesn't trade the lives of young New Zealanders for a war it doesn't believe in, in order to secure some material advantage. Miss Clark was also less than fulsome in rejecting suggestions that other countries, including Australia, had backed the US for economic advantage. "that's been dismissed by those involved, so I will have to accept their word. Dominion Post, 1/4/03, edition 2

Presenter: Alright. Bill English suggesting you should apologise to the Australians as well?

Clark: Oh, get a life, I mean no comment adverse to Australia of any kind has been made. TVNZ Breakfast 7/4/03

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