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Green Party opposes war with Iraq

NEWS from the Green Party   Date:   10 February 1998

Greens condemn Government's determination to incite war with Iraq
and hollow pretence at seeking a diplomatic solution

The Green Party broke the political consensus today. The Executive
unequivocally condemned the government's dangerous and foolhardy
handling of the Iraqi crisis, making the Green Party the only
national party opposed to government policy. Even while countries
like France and Russia are sending officials to Bagdad to seek a
diplomatic solution, the British Government's position is to
refuse any dialogue with Iraq, declaring that there is nothing to
negotiate, and that the only options are an unconditional
climbdown by Saddam, or military action. Whilst insisting that it
is seeking a peaceful solution, the Government is actively
preparing itself, and the public, for war. Along with the US, it
is apparently attempting to incite conflict by issuing a
continuous stream of invective against Iraq, building up military
forces in the region, whilst flatly refusing to send anyone to
Bagdad to talk.  Whilst holding the presidency of the European
Union, it is appalling that Britain is siding with America rather
than representing the wishes of its 14 European partners, who
oppose the warmongering stance of the former. Military action
against Iraq will be disastrous for everybody, except, possibly,
Saddam Hussein.  It will inflict further suffering on the already
devastated people of Iraq, and create serious international
tensions, between Arab states and the West, and between the
US/Britain and Europe, Russia & most of the rest of the world.

Green Party Principal Speaker Mike Woodin said:  "Blair and
Clinton are playing into Saddam's hands. The dictator will be
relishing the divisions that this crisis is creating, and a
military strike against him could actually result in strengthening
his position.  The 'nothing to negotiate' position will inevitably
lead to war, like cornering a rat.  Of course we wish to see Iraq
stripped of all biological, chemical and nuclear capabilities.
(Likewise every other nation on earth). But it's also time the
widespread deprivation and squalor in Iraq caused by the sanctions
ended. And therein lies the basis for a peaceful settlement."

Further                      Peter Barnett - Press Officer
Tel/fax 01252 330506 information             Mike Woodin -
Principal Speaker         Tel  01865 271334/248073
                          Fax  01865 310447
                          Mobile 07050 116865
                          E-Mail <>

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