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Chief of Army Praises Work of NZ Soldiers in Timor

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release

Monday 3 March 2008

Chief of Army Praises Work of NZ Soldiers in Timor-Leste

Chief of Army Major General Lou Gardiner said that New Zealand soldiers in Timor Leste, who are part of the Australian led International Security Force (ISF) in the country, have a vital role to play in the development of the young nation and should take justifiable pride in what they are doing.

Major General Gardiner’s remarks came at the end of a four day visit to New Zealand soldiers in Timor Leste, during which he visited troops patrolling the streets of the capital city Dili and others involved in security operations.

“Timor Leste is a small country trying to make its way forward, trying to develop and reap the benefits of independence. We need to be here to help provide a secure environment so this young nation can start to have some confidence as it moves forward”, said Major General Gardiner.

“Timor Leste is going to have some issues along the way, like all young countries but we are helping provide security that allows people to get on with their lives by building their houses, planting the fields and raising and educating their children.

“Some soldiers may think that their efforts go unnoticed but in my conversations with a wide cross-section of people in New Zealand and here in Timor Leste, there is a real appreciation of what the New Zealand Army does and the contribution these young New Zealanders make to international security and stability.

“I think it is important to make them aware of this when they are thousands of miles from New Zealand, missing family and home and knowing the sacrifices their partners and families are making. It is important that they know the work they do is appreciated”, said Major General Gardiner.

ENDS

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