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US Mideast policies undermine War on Terror

13 May 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

United States’ Mideast policies undermine War on Terror

The U.S. government's inconsistent Middle East policies are undermining the global campaign against fundamentalist terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda, Progressive MP Matt Robson said today.

"Al Qaeda and its allies represent a significant threat to democratic societies. Intelligent policies that include much more than just guns and prisons are required to defeat this fascist threat," the Progressive MP said.

"It is a worry that the U.S. government's incoherent policies in the Mid East are inflammatory to many Arabs and Muslims. That just helps the propaganda and recruitment effort of our terrorist enemies," Matt Robson said.

It was reported today that President George Bush has imposed a ban on American exports to Syria on the grounds that the Syrian government may be "pursuing weapons of mass destruction" and because of its participation in an Arab League-mandated peace-keeping operation in Lebanon.

"The U.S. government inflames public opinion in the Arab world because it doesn't pursue its policies consistently. They look at Syria's next door neighbour, Israel, and they can't help noticing that Mr Bush doesn't propose trade sanctions on Israel despite its illegal annexation of Palestinian land and reported advanced WMD programme," Matt Robson said.

Note: The Syrian army entered Lebanon to stop a civil war in 1976. No Syrian settlements have been established in Lebanon. The Syrian government has publicly called for a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East. No Lebanese territory has been annexed. Lebanon remains the only democracy in the Middle East with a secret ballot voting system since 1927, free press and special electoral protections for all religious groups in society.

The Israel Defence Force invaded the West Bank and Gaza, and Syria's Golan Heights territory, in 1967. Since 1967, Israel has annexed the Golan and the Old City of Jersualem, it has embarked on a massive settlements programme in the all the territories it invaded in 1967 which are not open to Palestinian residents; and is believed by many to have a significant stockpile of nuclear weapons although this is not subject to United Nations' inspection teams.

ENDS

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