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PM must speak out against US belligerence

PM must speak out against US belligerence, say Greens

The Green Party has called upon the Prime Minister to join other nations in criticising the Bush administration for wanting to broaden the Iraq conflict into Syria.

Russia and France have asked the US not to widen the conflict into Syria and beyond.

"As an opponent of the Iraq war Helen Clark should speak out against its potential escalation into Syria," said Mr Locke, the Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

"We should join European and Arab leaders and Kofi Annan in warning the Bush administration against intimidation of Syria.

"The threats to Syria show that the US had a larger and more ominous agenda when it attacked Iraq.

"The Iraq war seems to have been less about weapons of mass destruction, which haven't been found, than about expanding American influence in the Middle East and getting better access to its resources, particularly oil.

"US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is now accusing Syria of having weapons of mass destruction, after having come up empty handed in Iraq.

"Morally, how can President Bush demand Syria that hand over any officials of the Saddam's regime when he doesn't support the International Criminal Court, surely the most appropriate venue for any trials?

"And how serious is US government about solving Israel/Palestine dispute when its first move after the war is to help Ariel Sharon by coming down hard on a Syria, a key backer of the Palestinians?

"Our Prime Minister should tell the Bush administration to leave Syria alone," said Mr Locke.

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