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New Zealand deployments to Afghanistan

19 November 2007 Media Statement

New Zealand deployments to Afghanistan

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that the Government has made decisions on military and police deployments to Afghanistan and the Gulf region for the period up until September 2009.

The deployments cover the continuation of:
• the Provincial Reconstruction Team based in Bamyan Province,
• two military personnel helping to train the Afghan National Army,
• up to five military officers serving with the International Security Assistance Force Headquarters,
• one military officer serving with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan,
• up to two medical specialists serving with Canadian forces in the south of Afghanistan, and
• three Police officers helping to train the Afghan National Police

“As well the Government has decided that there will be a deployment of a Navy frigate to the Gulf region prior to September 2009,” Helen Clark said.

“New Zealand is committed to helping to bring about peace and development in Afghanistan. A peaceful Afghanistan, able to provide for its people and prevent itself being used as a terrorist base, is in the interests of the international community,” Helen Clark said.

Defence Minister Phil Goff said New Zealand has made substantial military, police, and aid contributions in Afghanistan since 2001. The Provincial Reconstruction Team has been deployed since 2003.

“Our contributions are welcomed by the Government of Afghanistan,” Phil Goff said.

“New Zealand’s contribution is making a difference for the people of Bamyan in particular. We have participated in, and facilitated the construction of schools, roads, bridges, and a maternity ward at the local hospital. New Zealanders can be justly proud of the work our people in Afghanistan are doing,” Phil Goff said.

ENDS

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