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NZ needs to work within UN framework on Iraq crisis

NZ needs to work within UN framework on Iraq crisis

John Key should not be making up foreign policy on the hoof and pledging support for possible unilateral action by the United States in Iraq, the Green Party said today.

In New York earlier this week, New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully talked up the United Nations Security Council as an imperfect body but one that should be given the chance to handle the current crisis in Iraq. Days later the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key talks up the freedom of the United States to use air and drone strikes in Iraq without United Nations Security Council authorisation and offers NZ support for that.

“In the space of a few days the two most senior spokespeople on New Zealand foreign policy have put forward views that are fundamentally incompatible,” said Green Party MP Kennedy Graham.

“John Key appears willing to change New Zealand’s foreign policy after a few handshakes and a quick tour of the White House.

“With the exception of self-defence, New Zealand should never support any military action that is not explicitly authorised by the UN Security Council and within international law.

“John Key appears to lack ‘situation awareness’ – recognition that what he and his Foreign Minister say in one place at one moment will be rightly taken by people all around the world as a lasting statement of policy,” said Dr Graham.

“Iraq is currently in crisis. That does not mean our Prime Minister should be giving his blessing to possible drone and air strikes by the United States that have a high chance of causing civilian casualties and possibly worsening the situation.

“New Zealand should offer humanitarian aid through the UN and promote multilateral action, not strive to be assistant-deputy sheriff to unilateral action by one member state.”

ends

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