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Very Very Very Good Friends For A Very Short Time


Hon Bill English National Party Leader 19 September 2002

Very Very Very Good Friends For A Very Very Very Short Time

The Labour Government is trying to have it both ways on Iraq, says National Party Leader Bill English.

"The very threats of President Bush that scares the Labour Party are the threats that have scared Saddam Hussein into allowing weapon inspectors back into Iraq.

"Labour are reverting to their traditional an-Americanism, when just a few months ago we were "very very very good friends".

"So now Labour is trying to have it both ways. Clark has been the most strident critic of the Bush administration yet now she is rushing to assist the weapon inspectors who are there only because of the US threats.

"This confused way of carrying out foreign policy shows no integrity. This extends to the lack of debate in the house prior to any decisions being made.

"Australia had an open discussion in Parliament this week over Iraq and Britain will be carrying out a debate on the issue next Tuesday. Yet Helen Clark has taken the unusual step of telling everyone first in the House what is happening without any prior debate.

"National's position is very clear. We are supporters of our traditional allies and we want to influence their decisions. We believe this approach is more effective in New Zealand interests than total reliance on the United Nations, " says Mr English.

Ends

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