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Howard declares: US to rule Iraq.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON SIMON CREAN MP

Howard declares - US to rule Iraq

John Howard has today confirmed that Australia will support a post-war US Military Protectorate in Iraq.

In answer to my question about whether he supported a UN or US post-war administration, Mr Howard told Parliament:

I have communicated on a number of occasions to both President Bush and to Mr Blair the view that, after some appropriate interim period - and self-evidently there would have to be an interim period - and that interim period would obviously involve a leadership role for the United States and the involvement of the United Kingdom and obviously the Australian viewpoint and others will also be expressed in those arrangements…

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Mr Howard offered no opinion on how long such an “interim” arrangement should last, and again indicated that he would simply endorse whatever the US decides.

…the idea that the United States and the United Kingdom and o hers, having done the heavy lifting in relation to this matter, should just walk away without seeking to legitimately put their point of view in relation to the post-conflict arrangements is clearly unacceptable.

While Mr Howard went on to declare his preference for a United Nations administration following this “interim” period, his contempt for the UN, expressed again today, highlights the difficulty Australia and other members of the “Coalition of the Willing” will have in extracting themselves from Iraq.

CANBERRA 26 MARCH 2003