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NZ Troops in Afghanistan Transfer From US to NATO

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence


01 November 2006
Media statement

NZ Troops in Afghanistan Transfer From US to NATO Led Missions

New Zealand troops serving in Afghanistan transitioned from US to NATO led missions this week Defence Minister Phil Goff said today.

"The New Zealand personnel in Afghanistan, along with other forces deployed there, have formally become part of the NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), having previously been deployed under the US led Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)", said Mr Goff.

"The change has had no noticeable impact on the day to day operations of our personnel. It is very much business as usual for New Zealand's Provincial Reconstruction (PRT) team in Bamyan Province", said Mr Goff.

"Some medical and logistics services for the PRT were provided by OEF. As a non-NATO nation, the primary concern for New Zealand in the lead up to the transition had been to ensure that those services provided by OEF would continue under ISAF.

"New Zealand and NATO agreed on the text for an exchange of letters to formalise these arrangements and this has just been signed off in Brussels.

"New Zealand has played a significant role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and our work in Bamyan is held in high regard. We will continue under NATO to carry out, through our PRT in Bamyan, the excellent work it has performed on a daily basis since 2003", said Mr Goff.


ENDS

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