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Ó Snodaigh - Jeckyll and Hyde Government sheds crocodile tears for the children of Iraq

2 April, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on International Affairs and Defence Aengus Ó Snodaigh has described the Governments endorsement of the Fine Gael Private Members Motion calling for increased humanitarian aid for Iraq as "a disgusting hypocrisy". He accused the Government of having a "Jeckyll and Hyde" attitude to neutrality and of shedding "crocodile tears for the children and civilians of Iraq."

During the course of the debate Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The Government endorsement of this motion recognising the terrible humanitarian consequences of this war - of which I guarantee we are seeing only a small fraction reported on TV and in the newspaper - is not to be welcomed. It is a disgusting hypocrisy. They propose, in their twisted, Jeckyll and Hyde version of neutrality, to on the one hand help the Americans wage the war, and on the other to help the Iraqis recover, and thereby hope to appear to remain on the fence. I do not accept this as real neutrality and I do not accept the Government's crocodile tears for the children and civilians of Iraq.

"It is not enough for this Government to play a full role in the international relief effort. It must make every diplomatic effort to stop this war, and start by withdrawing its logistical support now."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh also cautioned against allowing humanitarian aid to be used by protagonists in the war saying "There must be no diversion, appropriation and redistribution by the invading forces of UN or other humanitarian aid. There must be no use of food and other aid as a propaganda tool, as part of a hearts and minds psychological operation against the Iraqi people, or as a form of bribery by invading forces."

He went on to say "Instead, there must be war reparations paid by the invaders and independently administered by the UN and other international non-governmental relief agencies. There must be no foreign military rule in Iraq, not even on an interim basis, not at any stage." ENDS

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