Peaceful pressure achieves breakthrough

Iraq’s decision to allow UN weapons inspectors back into the country is a victory for the use of peaceful international pressure, Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.

“We applaud the decision by the Iraqi regime to allow unconditional inspection of suspected sites,” said Keith Locke. “There is now no reason for the United States to press ahead with its plans for invasion.

“This decision is a result of mass pressure from many countries, channelled through the United Nations. It is an example of how nations can exert influence on other nations without resorting to violence.

“The New Zealand Government is to be congratulated on taking a principled stand on Iraq and rejecting American pressure to join a new ‘crusade.’

Keith Locke called on the White House to accept Iraq’s offer and to abandon both its plans for war and the aggressive air raids over the so-called “no fly” zones in northern and southern Iraq.

“If the US does not do so — or tries to impose unacceptable additional demands on Iraq — then New Zealand must make its opposition crystal-clear.

“As a minimum, New Zealand officers attached to the US Central Command, which is coordinating plans for the invasion of Iraq, must be withdrawn. Iraq has today shown its willingness to abide by international law: the US can do no less.”