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Brash continues Nat tradition of foreign blunders

Friday, 04 March 2005

Dunne: Brash continues Nat tradition of foreign blunders

United Future leader Peter Dunne said today he was stunned to hear of Don Brash’s call for New Zealand to recall its Ambassador from Indonesia.

“It appears that Dr Brash has never heard of the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government,” he said.

“You do not impose diplomatic sanctions against a government because you are unhappy with a decision by its judiciary – the judiciary is supposed to be independent. How would New Zealand like it if another country took diplomatic action against us because of the outcome of a court case here?” Mr Dunne asked.

He added that although Abu Bakar Bashir certainly appears to have gotten off far too lightly, we have to remember that the prosecution case against him was incredibly weak and the Indonesian judicial system was lucky to convict him of anything.

“Also of concern is that Dr Brash doesn’t appear to understand the gravity of a decision to recall an ambassador.

“That is a very serious step - and Dr Brash, a man who has declared he wants to lead this nation, has called for us to take such a step when he has clearly not given the matter much thought at all.

“We didn’t even recall our Ambassador to Israel when we caught Israeli spies operating here – and that was a matter of governmental responsibility.

“Today’s outburst by Dr Brash is in the same league as National’s other recent foreign policy blunders like the “Af Gaffe” when Bill English called for New Zealand to withdraw it’s troops from Afghanistan.

“Someone should tell him to stop taking foreign policy advice from Simon Power!”


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