WikiLeaks cable: NZ's reaction to proposed executive order on Iraq insurgency finance

14 October, 2004

This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.

Classified by Charge d'affaires David R. Burnett. Reason: 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (S-rel New Zealand) Post on September 14 delivered reftel talking points and text of the proposed executive order regarding insurgency finance in Iraq to New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

2. (S-rel New Zealand) On October 14, Taha Mcpherson of the Ministry's Security Policy Division delivered his government's response. He apologized for the delayed reply, explaining that it had to be vetted by a number of ministries and offices, including the Prime Minister's office.

3. (S-rel New Zealand) Following is New Zealand's response:

Begin text:

New Zealand deplores the continuing violence in Iraq, including attacks on civilians. New Zealand has the utmost sympathy for the victims of the violence and their families -- both Iraqi, and those from other countries that are helping to stabilize Iraq and provide humanitarian and reconstruction support under UN Security Council Resolutions 1483 and 1546.

We welcome the US intention to share information on individuals and entities that it believes pose a significant risk of committing acts of violence against either the Multinational Force in Iraq, or civilians supporting it. This information will be of benefit to the New Zealand authorities charged with monitoring international terrorist groups.

New Zealand would not envisage taking "parallel action" to that in the proposed US Executive Order because it sees the United Nations Security Council process as providing an effective multilateral mechanism for freezing the assets of individuals and entities associated with Al Qaida, the Taliban or Osama bin Laden.

While New Zealand's legislative basis -- the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 (as amended) -- is sufficient to ensure full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1390 it would not enable our going further, given that it is not clear that those targeted by the proposed new US Executive Order would necessarily fall within the definition of those who have committed "terrorist as defined in our legislation.

End text.

4. (C) Comment: The New Zealand government's response is not surprising and is consistent with the position it has taken since opposing the invasion of Iraq, through its freezing of terrorist funds under the UN resolutions, and through its participation in Iraq's reconstruction: New Zealand has insisted that such actions be linked to decisions by the United Nations.


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