From the Pacific
The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, called on the Australian Prime Minister to consider the well-being of all Pacific Island peoples before supporting a war against Iraq. Sir Michael Somare said, "While we condemn all forms of terrorism we do not accept the choice made by Australia to support the option of a war. A war for many Pacific Island countries means that we may be used as strategic points if the possibility of engagement does arrive". Sir Michael said that history shows that larger nations have often fought their wars on foreign soil away from their home countries. "Many Pacific Island countries including Papua New Guinea do not have the means to monitor activities on our shores and carry out surveillance in our waters. This leaves our country and our people exposed to exploitation if Australia persists in its support of a war", he said. Sir Michael said that it was not the first time that the people from the Pacific Island countries face the possibility of being roped into a war that may be costly and serves only the interest of the few larger countries. "We were roped into the First and Second World Wars. Today we are an independent nation that desires peace in the Pacific. "We are also the closest neighbour to Australia but like New Zealand would prefer non-violent alternatives that would maintain peace in the Pacific region."