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Foreign Minister Lines Up With US Empire

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs’ speech outlining a new approach for
New Zealand should be ringing alarm bells for anyone concerned about
preventing a war in our region,” said Peace Action Wellington member
Valerie Morse.

“Winston Peters claims to be interested in multilateralism, but what he
advocates for is closer relationships to the US empire and its
aggressive posturing in the South Pacific. He intends ‘reinvigorating
defence engagement’ with the United States and other Five Eyes partners
which translates to signing up to AUKUS, the multibillion dollar weapons
deal between the US, Australia and the UK with disastrous results for
peace in our region.”

“New Zealand troops already participate in two enormous war planning
exercises led by the US: RIMPAC (‘the Rim of the Pacific’) naval
training held in Hawai’i with 25,000 troops, and Talisman Sabre,
land-based combat training held in Australia involving 30,000 troops.
The NZDF is already highly integrated with US forces.”

“There are the existing Washington and Wellington Declarations, defence
cooperation agreements between the US and New Zealand. There is the Five
Eyes partnership that includes technical and staff sharing between
intelligence agencies.”

“It is also extraordinary that Peters’ claims to be interested in
multilateralism while he engages in obstructing international
institutions like the World Health Organisation. This is straight out of
the US far right playbook. He is interested in tearing down genuine
multilateralism in favour of the US-led order.”

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“His speech makes oblique references to ‘illegal invasions’ while he
refuses to call for an immediate ceasefire in the mass atrocity that is
Israel’s war on Gaza, and the decades-long illegal occupation of
Palestinian lands. Instead he makes milquetoast statements calling for
‘measures’ towards a ceasefire while thousands more people are murdered
by a relentless bombing campaign.”

“The United States is the greatest threat to global peace and security
bar none. Its sole interest is in maintaining US economic domination. It
is not interested in democracy or peace when those conflict with its own
economic interests.”

“The US engagement in the Pacific is driven by its fear of China. It is
fueling an arms race in the South Pacific, and billions of dollars are
spent buying weapons that should be used to address real problems
including climate change and healthcare.”

“Closer alignment to the US will see billions funneled to US weapons
dealers and a more dangerous region. New Zealand should instead be a
regional leader for a South Pacific weapons-free zone with an aggressive
disarmament strategy to rid the entire area of the seeds of conflict.”

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