Greens call on Clark to summon ambassadors

The Green Party is calling on the Prime Minister to make this country’s abhorrence of the imminent invasion of Iraq clear to the “coalition of the willing”

“We may not be able to stop the war starting, but we have a responsibility to express our opposition in the strongest possible way,” Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

“In other crises, such as French nuclear tests, the Prime Minister has summoned in the ambassador of the offending country.

“This time Helen Clark should summon the ambassadors of the US, Britain and Australia to the Beehive and spell out why New Zealand is totally opposed to the unilateral use of force in Iraq.

“The Greens are appreciative that Helen Clark is not joining George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard in this illegal invasion.

“But this is not the time to relax our opposition to a war that will kill so many innocent people and undermine the United Nations.

“We are disappointed that the Prime Minister has turned down requests from the Green Party, Greenpeace and many New Zealanders to initiate a process under Resolution 377 to call the UN General Assembly into emergency session.

“We are also concerned that our frigate Te Mana will continue to escort US military warships through the Straits of Hormuz, even after the commencement of war.

“Most New Zealanders want our government in the forefront of world opposition to this impending war,” said Mr Locke.