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Australia should urge UN economic sanctions on Yugoslavia: Hill



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MEDIA RELEASE ° SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Tuesday, October 8 Canberra

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AUSTRALIA SHOULD URGE PN ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON YUGOSLAVIA s HILL

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today said the Australian Government must not dither over taking action to seek UN sanctions and an oil embargo on Yugoslavia.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Evans, refused to commit the Government to urging the UN Security Council to impose sanctions and an embargo over the conflict in Yugoslavia.

"Senator Evans's comments about Australia taking action in the UN were extremely disappointing," Senator Hill said.

"At a time when all vestiges of constitutional authority have broken down and the Croatian capital of Zagreb is being pounded by Yugoslav forces, it is simply not good enough to say that

Australia is still thinking about action in the UN.

"For the sake of those suffering from the appalling violence being perpetrated in Croatia, Australia should move now.

"Economic pressure must be applied to help enforce the ceasefire.

"The Security Council should lock in the wider world community to economic sanctions generally, and an oil embargo specifically, to be triggered upon implementation of European sanctions.

"Given the lead time needed for UN action, those in Croatia trying to withstand the attacks of Yugoslav forces cannot wait for Australia and the UN to think about taking action.

"After the Federal Opposition first raised the question of Australian action in the UN on Yugoslavia on August 6, it took the Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, three weeks to say that Australia might take action with the United States.

"It took a further three weeks for Mr Hawke to announce that he had written to the UN putting Australia's view on UN action.

"Meanwhile, the fighting escalated.

"Australia must not again take six weeks to think about acting.

"It must move now to urge the UN Security Council to meet again on Yugoslavia."

(ends)

Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (06) 277 3170

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