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Published:November 13th, 2006 05:33 EST
We must combat

We must combat

By SOP newswire

Good morning everyone. Can I extend a very warm welcome to Helen Clark, the New Zealand Prime Minister, and say, Helen, how delighted and honoured we are to have you here in Downing Street and to have you here in Britain. I remember from my visit to New Zealand earlier in this year what a fantastic occasion it was and how much I enjoyed it. And the relationship between our two countries and indeed between our two governments is a very, very strong one for all sorts of historical reasons of course, and some of those historical reasons we will reflect on with the New Zealand Memorial tomorrow, but actually today it is a relationship that is as much about the present and the future as the past.

I would like, if I may, to take the chance of congratulating you on the aspiration to be a carbon neutral economy. I think for New Zealand to give this type of leadership at this time is a tremendous signal to send right across the world. And I think whether it is on climate change or on world trade where again our two countries work closely together in order to make sure that we have the right rules for an international trading system, or indeed in the work that we are doing together in Afghanistan, there is an immense amount of common ground. And as we were reflecting in our discussion over breakfast, there is a common group of values and a shared set of purposes that unite New Zealand and the United Kingdom in a very profound and special way, and that is one of the reasons why I think the relationship is so strong today, that both of us recognise that countries pursue their interests of course, but the more those interests are founded on strong and shared values, particularly when those values are those of democracy and liberty and openness to the world, then the better it is for both our countries.

So it is a tremendous pleasure to welcome you here today, and as you know there are many New Zealand people who are over in this country who are widely liked and respected as well, and many Brits that come over to New Zealand. So it is a tremendous relationship and one that is based on genuine affection and I am personally very delighted to see you here today.

Mrs Clark:

Thank you Tony, and obviously Saturday is a very big day for New Zealand in London, a day when you and The Queen will come and see our New Zealand Memorial dedicated, and we are very appreciative of that and also appreciative of the attention you have paid the New Zealand relationship. We see the relationship with Britain as special, certainly we are part of the shared community of values and although the relationship has a lot of links historically, it has huge contemporary links. We find when we sit down on issues like climate change, like trade, we are talking the same language and the British government has been a champion within the G8, the EU and other forums of positions which we ourselves strongly advocate.

We have had the opportunity today to talk a little about where the Nairobi negotiations on climate change might go. I have been greatly comforted by the reaction of the Prime Minister, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Foreign Secretary when I have raised the issue of food miles. I don't believe that is going to get any traction whatsoever with the British government. And on the issues of trade, Britain is working as strongly as it can within its circles to ensure we try to get some revival of the Doha round, which is pretty critical for confidence in the world economy at the present time.

Question:

Prime Minister, should the British public be frightened by what the head of MI5 had to say about the state of the terrorist threat in this country?

Prime Minister:

I have been saying, as you know, for several years that this terrorist threat is very real, it has been building up over a long period of time. It is not just in this country, as we have seen recently from incidents in India, France, other parts of the world, this is a threat that has grown up over a generation. I think she is absolutely right in saying that it will last a generation and it can only be combated in the end, not just by proper measures on security, and we are looking again at how we strengthen our terrorism laws, again something I have been saying for a long time, we need to make sure that that is the case, but in addition to that that we take on and combat the poisonous propaganda of those people that warp and pervert the minds, particularly of younger people. Because in the end the values that we have and hold dear in this country that are about democracy, and tolerance, and liberty and respect for people of other faiths are the values that will defeat those values of hatred and division and sectarianism. So it is a very long and deep struggle this here and right round the world, but we have got to stand up and be counted for what we believe and to take the fight to those that want to entice young people into what is in the end not just something that is wicked and violent, but something that is utterly futile in terms of the future.

Question:

This may be the last time that you meet together here at Downing Street, go through the ritual. Have you said your farewells?

Prime Minister:

Well I don't kind of look at it like that, and you never know what happens. Helen is welcome back here at any point in time.

Mrs Clark:

And Tony is welcome in New Zealand.

Prime Minister:

Thank you. I think you know the most important thing for us, because whether I am Prime Minister or not, is the relationship between our two countries. And I think you will find whatever happens in the future, you know after I have stopped being Prime Minister, you will find that relationship incredibly strong because it is based on shared values. And I have found I have to say most particularly with Helen as Prime Minister there has been a sense here in Britain of New Zealand, obviously a successful country in its own right but also projecting itself in the world in a way that gives a lot of hope and strength to those people who are following the same types of lines, whether it is on openness and trade, or climate change, or trying to make sure that for example at the Commonwealth meetings when she and I have united together to say democracy and governance is important for people in Africa as well. So I think this is a relationship that is going to continue to go from strength to strength because it has got very firm foundations, not just in history but as we have both been saying in contemporary terms as well.

Source: MI5