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National notes nuclear ship comments

National notes nuclear ship comments

National Party Defence spokesman Simon Power says comments from a visiting US official confirm that the Government is wrong with its assertion that New Zealand is operating in a 'benign strategic environment'.

"The National Party notes with interest the remarks made by US Under Secretary of Commerce Grant Aldonas about the nuclear ships ban.

"The National Party is involved in a detailed review of New Zealand's anti-nuclear policy and the Under Secretary's comments will feed in to that process," says Mr Power.

"It is the biggest single Defence and Foreign Policy discussion this country will have in more than 20 years and it's important that those discussions take place in an informed way.

"The National Party is of the view it is time to take a serious look at this issue," Mr Power says.

"A spokesman for the Prime Minister has made it very clear the Government has no plans to review its policy on nuclear ships.

"Instead Helen Clark is putting unquestioning faith in what Mr Aldonas has described as an 'artefact of another age'," says Mr Power.

"Meanwhile the US Under Secretary makes it clear that his Government believes no part of the world is safe from terrorism.

"With recent terror attacks in Bali and Jakarta, the Government can no longer justify Helen Clark's claim that we're operating in a 'benign strategic environment'.

"It's time Labour took our defence relationships seriously," says Mr Power.

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