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Injured New Zealand Personnel

Injured New Zealand Personnel


Wednesday 23 October 2002 MIN 591/02

INJURED NEW ZEALAND PERSONNEL

The wounding of three members of the New Zealand SAS yesterday in Afghanistan is a timely reminder of the hazards facing members of the international coalition against terrorism, including Australian Defence Force personnel, Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Danna Vale said.

"On behalf of all Australians I extend our best wishes for the speedy recovery of these soldiers," Minister Vale said.

"This latest incident reminds us that the war against terrorism is a dangerous undertaking in an extremely hostile environment.

"It is also a reminder of the way in which Australian and New Zealand personnel continue to serve shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan and also in East Timor in the defence of our shared values."

Minister Vale said she and the New Zealand Defence Minister Mark Burton would be in Darwin on 15 November to welcome NZ troops back from serving in East Timor.

"The Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill, today sent a message of support on behalf of the Australian Government to Minister Burton, and wished the soldiers well in their recovery.

"Our military ties with New Zealand are as strong as ever," Minister Vale said.

The Minister said the parade in Darwin would commemorate the last New Zealand element returning from East Timor, 100 NZ soldiers from all rotations would participate along with 100 Australian Defence Force personnel.

"It will provide an opportunity to acknowledge their fine reputation for professionalism and the close relationship shared with our trans-Tasman neighbours, " Minister Vale said.

ENDS


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