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Barker to visit Viet Nam

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Veterans’ Affairs

19 February 2008 Media Statement

Barker to visit Viet Nam

Veterans' Affairs Minister, Rick Barker will visit Viet Nam at the end of February, with an official delegation of six New Zealand veterans.

This is the first formal visit to Viet Nam by a group of New Zealand veterans, and the invitation was extended by the Vietnamese Government sponsored, Veterans' Association of Viet Nam (VAV).

"The purpose of the visit is to explore possible connections between veterans' groups in New Zealand and Viet Nam and how this could be facilitated," Mr Barker said.

The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RNZRSA) and the Ex- Vietnam Services Association (EVSA) welcome this opportunity to reach across the divide of history and to meet as veteran-to-veteran.

“The occasion is a timely and fitting follow-on to contacts made through the World Veterans' Federation 25th General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur in December 2006, and a meeting of the WVF Standing Committee on Asia-Pacific in Singapore in September 2007,” said Robin Klitscher, National President of the RNZRSA.

The veterans' delegation will include the National President of EVSA, Terry Culley, National President of the RNZRSA, Robin Klitscher, John Campbell, Rod Baldwin, Rusty Taylor and Henry Macown.

The majority of the programme will take place in Ha Noi and will include a visit to the Friendship Village, which veterans from a number of countries have established to provide support to Vietnamese veterans. While in Viet Nam, Mr Barker will pay courtesy calls on the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

The delegation will depart 24 February 2008 and return to New Zealand on 29 February 2008.


ENDS

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