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Greens join minister’s criticism of Iraq bombing

Greens join minister’s criticism of bombing

19 February 2001

Locke supports Robson's criticism of raid on Iraq

Green Party MP and foreign affairs spokesperson Keith Locke has supported
Disarmament Minister Matt Robson's criticism of the US and British air raid
on radar sites near Bagdad.

"New Zealand should speak out strongly against the unilateral Anglo-American
attack," said Mr Locke, "and I applaud Mr Robson for speaking out. We can't
allow the new United States president to act unilaterally as some global
sheriff instead of working with the world community to resolve problems in a
peaceful manner.

"Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff's response to date has been weak. His
major concern is the way the attack has divided those countries opposed to
Saddam Hussein," said Mr Locke.

"He should be criticising the raids outright as unjustified aggression and
as a violation of international law. Also, it is obvious that the air raids
have been counterproductive with the immediate effect being to strengthen
support for Saddam among the Iraqi people," he said.

Mr Locke said that instead of backing off sanctions that have created great
suffering among ordinary Iraqis, the US and Britain are upping the ante.

"New Zealand should be at the forefront of seeking diplomatic solutions
through the United Nations. Phil Goff must say that further air attacks on
Iraq are unacceptable," said Mr Locke.

Keith Locke MP: 09 630 0789, 025 528 353
Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090


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