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How serious is Bush in the war against terrorism?

How serious is Mr Bush in the war against terrorism?

It is disturbing that companies domiciled in countries contributing to the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure may be banned from competing in tenders for some reconstruction projects, Progressive MP Matt Robson said today.

"It has been reported today that the government of the United States is to ban firms based in countries which opposed the invasion of Iraq earlier in the year from competing for some contracts to rebuild the country.

"Any such unilateral U.S. move would only further undermine multilateral efforts to rebuild Iraq, measures that are vital in the campaign to remove some of the conditions in which terrorist organizations thrive," Matt Robson said.

Many democratic countries, including New Zealand, Canada, Germany and France are involved in rebuilding Iraq. Their governments, however, opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq earlier this year that occurred without a mandate from the United Nations Security Council.

News reports today say Germany and Canada have described the U.S. move as unfriendly, a sure sign of potential further disagreement and squabbling between major powers at multilateral forums including the World Trade Organization.

"Governments in democratic countries need to cooperate closely together to remove the conditions in which terrorism thrives.

"Terrorism thrives in conditions of poverty and social injustice.

"If we are to win the long war to defeat the threat of terrorism, it will take the efforts of all democratic nations to build healthy, prosperous and democratic societies in the Middle East and if the reports of the U.S.'s intentions are carried through that is bad news for the campaign against terrorism," Matt Robson said.

It is also reported that the French government believes the U.S. position is against the principles of fair trade and may cause more strife at WTO talks already stalled over delivering fairer access for agricultural exporters to rich markets.

"Just this week the United Nations warned that trade protectionism in rich countries is seriously hurting poor nations and entrenching poverty – the very poverty in which terrorist organizations look for new recruits," Matt Robson said.

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