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McCully welcomes Afghan Foreign Minister

Hon Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs
18 March 2013 Media Statement

McCully welcomes Afghan Foreign Minister

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully held talks with his Afghan counterpart, Dr Zalmai Rassoul, in Wellington today.

“A new chapter in our countries’ relationship is about to begin, with New Zealand withdrawing its Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) from Bamyan province in April, in line with the transition process,” Mr McCully says.

New Zealand has led the PRT in Bamyan since 2003 and has contributed to international counter-terrorism efforts and improved security, development and governance in the province.

Mr McCully and Dr Rassoul discussed New Zealand’s on-going commitments to Afghanistan, including providing trainers to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy and personnel to the ISAF Special Operations Forces headquarters. They also discussed New Zealand’s on-going development programme in Bamyan.

“New Zealand and Afghanistan have forged a bond through shared sacrifice and a commitment to peace and security. New Zealand remains committed to Afghanistan and will continue to play its part in international efforts to support the country,” Mr McCully says.

While in New Zealand, Mr Rassoul is also meeting Prime Minister John Key and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman.

Media are invited to attend a wreath-laying ceremony tomorrow at 9am at the National War Memorial to acknowledge both Afghan and New Zealand losses in Afghanistan.

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