Action on East Timor crisis welcomed
Jim Anderton MP Mon Sep 13 1999
The Alliance is welcoming the move for international intervention in East Timor and called it a triumph for the pressure the international community have been able and willing to bring to bear on Indonesia.
Leader of the Alliance Jim Anderton paid particular tribute to US President Bill Clinton, who has consistently put pressure on President Habibie of Indonesia.
'Without Bill Clinton's resolve, the East Timorese could still be waiting.
'In many ways the peacekeeping troops will be moving in to put out a fire which has already burned down most of the house. So the sooner they can get into East Timor the better.
'It is a positive step that in a parliamentary democracy like New Zealand, Mrs Shipley has called a special session of Parliament before any New Zealand troops are sent to East Timor.
'This is absolutely appropriate. The New Zealand parliament must be given the chance to debate how and why New Zealand troops should take part in a UN peacekeeping force.
'Unfortunately we weren't given this chance when our troops were sent to Bosnia. I commend Mrs Shipley for getting it right this time.
'It has long been Alliance policy that New Zealand would always positively participate in United Nations sponsored peace-keeping operations.
'We will of course support being so involved in this occasion,' said Alliance leader Jim Anderton.