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NZ Extends Peacekeeping Commitment In Afghanistan

23 May 2002

New Zealand has extended its commitment to a peacekeeping presence in Afghanistan until the end of the year, Defence Minister Mark Burton announced today.

"New Zealand's existing offer - until the end of July - of up to 25 personnel to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), has now been extended until 31 December 2002," Mark Burton said.

"This extension of New Zealand's commitment is dependent on the United Nations Security Council extending the mandate for ISAF.

"16 NZDF personnel are currently deployed to ISAF - an Air Loading team of 12 personnel, and four staff officers based in a British Army headquarters in Kabul.

"While the security situation in parts of Afghanistan remains uncertain, the presence of ISAF peacekeepers has been a key factor in maintaining order in Kabul.

"Maintaining a stable security situation in the capital is vital to achieving sustainable peace in Afghanistan, and New Zealand is prepared to play its part," Mark Burton said.


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