BRITISH MINISTER QUESTIONS AID TO PACIFIC

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Nov. 11) – A British cabinet minister questions whether aid money will go to the Pacific region in the future.

The leader of the British House of Commons, Peter Hain, made the remarks after a public lecture to members of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs in Wellington last night.

Mr Hain says Britain is not doing much for the Pacific.

But he says an increase in the proportion of its budget on aid spending may lead to increased contributions to the Pacific.

Mr Hain says Australia and New Zealand are now more likely to intervene than Britain in the event of political instability in the region.

Mr Hain refused to be drawn when asked why Britain had turned down a request from the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Allen Kemakeza for Gurkha troops to quell unrest two years ago.

November 12, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

 

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