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Re: Missing New Zealander in Iraq

Re: Missing New Zealander in Iraq

1. We have received information in the past 24 hours that New Zealander Andreas Schafer is alive and well and in Iraq. We understand Mr Schafer has been in touch with his family.

2. It appears Mr Schafer is being detained by authorities in Iraq - it is not clear whether by the Iraqi police or the Coalition administration - and we are making enquiries through posts about where and why he is being held.

Background:

Mr Schafer's family contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade some weeks ago concerned that their son might be in trouble in Iraq. The Ministry made widespread enquiries through its posts and in London and Washington but these produced no information.

Two other New Zealanders formerly in Iraq have now left. An injured Iraqi born New Zealander is now receiving treatment in Jordan. A New Zealander released from British custody in Basra was released after enquiries into his visa status and is now understood to have left Iraq.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade reiterates its advice that Iraq is an extremely dangerous environment and New Zealanders should not travel there. Any New Zealand civilian in Iraq should leave.

ENDS

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