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Latham too weak to explain "cut and run"



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER October 3 2004

Latham too weak to explain “cut and run”

Labor Leader Mark Latham again has highlighted his weakness on national and international security issues by failing to commit to a bilateral meeting with the United States President in November.

Should he be elected Prime Minister, Mr Latham would hand terrorists an enormous propaganda victory and downgrade the American alliance by immediately withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq.

But Mr Latham is too weak even to explain his “cut and run” policy to the American President.

Interviewed this morning on the Channel 7 “Sunday Sunrise” program, Mr Latham refused to commit to a bilateral meeting with the US President at the APEC Leader’s Summit in Santiago, Chile, in November.

Mr Latham fails to understand the global nature of Islamic extremist terrorism. He fails to understand how giving in to the terrorists’ demands in Iraq will make us less secure in our region.

Mr Latham fails to understand the importance of the American alliance in the war against terrorism around the globe and in our own region.

Mr Latham has never accepted a briefing on the role of Australia’s troops in Iraq.

Mr Latham cancelled a trip to the United States earlier this year when he could have discussed the issue with American officials.

Now, even if he is elected Prime Minister, he won’t even have the spine to try to explain to our most important security ally why he wants to cut and run.

Mr Latham has had nine different policies on Australia’s Iraq troop deployment. He still has time to admit his folly and commit them to staying the course.

Media Inquiries: Chris Kenny 0419 206 890