Tue, 25 Feb 2003

Crean says Malaysia's PM
comments are inflammatory

The Federal Opposition leader says recent comments by Malaysia's Prime Minister are potentially inflammatory.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad denounced US policy on Iraq, declaring that an American-led attack could be seen as a war against Muslims.

He made the comments ahead of today's summit of world leaders from the Non-Aligned Movement.

Simon Crean says Dr Mahathir's comments will not be helpful if they were quoted in context.

"They can be portrayed that way but we have to see them in the full context of the meeting in which he's participating," he said.

"The last thing we want is a circumstance in which a war is portrayed as the West verses Islam, it's easier to assert that point, it's harder to justify it."