The Green Party has joined with the nation in congratulating our Defence Force on the successful completion of its East Timor mission.
“The spirit and professionalism of our service personnel has helped a devastated, new nation find the breathing space to cement its independence,” Green Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Keith Locke said today.
“The East Timor experience is yet more proof that peacekeeping is what this country does best.
“It is ironic that the Government has been at pains to praise and identify itself with the East Timor mission, while at the same time casting a shameful blanket over the activities of the SAS contingent it contributed to America’s war in Afghanistan.
“On the one hand we have hugely successful, much publicised contribution to the stability of a regional neighbour. On the other, we were drawn into a secret, violent foray into a far-flung corner of Asia in which innocent people died.
“Of the two paths there can be no doubt of the one in which New Zealanders take the most pride,” said Keith Locke.
“The Greens congratulate the thousands of New Zealanders who have contributed to peacekeeping in East Timor and are still doing so in other countries around the world.”