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NZ should protest against Australian missiles

27 August 2004

NZ should join Asian protests against Australian missiles

Green MP Keith Locke wants New Zealand to join Indonesia in protesting Australia's plan to purchase long-range cruise missiles.

"South-East Asian nations are justifiably nervous about Australia purchasing long-range cruise missiles," said Mr Locke, the Green Party's Defence Spokesperson.

"New Zealand should strongly object to Australia starting an expensive and destabilising arms race in our region.

"Buying such offensive weapons will also inevitably undermine coordination and relations between our armed forces. For instance, the more that Australia's Orion fleet is configured to attack its northern neighbours, the less they will be able to work with our Orions in legitimate activities such as fisheries protection.

"When it comes to defence, John Howard is determined to get totally into bed with George Bush, whatever the cost to relations with other countries in the region, including New Zealand.

"This new move comes on top of Australia, as America's deputy sheriff, buying into Star Wars and giving the green light to a US military base in northern Australia," said Mr Locke.

ENDS

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