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

Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719