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New Zealand extends Solomon Islands deployment


New Zealand extends Solomon Islands deployment

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Acting Defence Minister Annette King today announced that New Zealand's deployment of up to 50 defence personnel to the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands has been extended until March 2008.

Helen Clark and Annette King said New Zealand has maintained an enhanced military presence in Honiara since the riots there in April. New Zealand also has 35 police officers in the Solomon Islands.

"New Zealand is committed to helping provide a more secure environment in the Solomon Islands and to support the constitutional process there. The presence of the New Zealand troops provides ongoing support to the Solomon Island Police Force, and to the expatriate RAMSI Participating Police Force which is drawn from throughout the Pacific. “Extending the deployment is an important part of New Zealand's ongoing commitment to the helping the people of Solomon Islands.”

Helen Clark and Annette King also announced that New Zealand’s military liaison officer position deployed with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has been rolled over until 30 September 2007. Decisions on a range of Afghanistan deployments, including the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamian (which is currently mandated until 30 September 2007), will be taken next year.


ends

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