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Defence Minister in talks with top NATO officer

Defence Minister in talks with top NATO officer

Defence Minister Mark Mitchell has held discussions today with General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, who is currently visiting New Zealand.

General Pavel is NATO’s senior military officer and the principal military advisor to NATO’s Secretary-General.

“New Zealand is one of NATO’s strategic partners and General Pavel’s visit reflects the importance of this partnership,” says Mr Mitchell.

“Our relationship with NATO is an important part of New Zealand’s contribution to the rules-based order and international peace and security.

“I had a very useful meeting with General Pavel. I was able to follow up on recent discussions in Copenhagen and Singapore, and it was a good opportunity to share perspectives on security challenges facing NATO and New Zealand, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.”

New Zealand contributes 10 personnel to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy which is part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. The Government is considering a request from the United States to send a small number of additional personnel to Afghanistan.

General Pavel was conducting a counterpart visit with Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating. His itinerary included meetings with officials and academics and visits to Defence bases.

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