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Minister visits troops in Afghanistan

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp

Minister of Defence

Minister of Research, Science and Technology



21 October 2009

Media Statement


Minister visits troops in Afghanistan

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp is on his way to Bratislava, Slovakia today for a NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting, after visiting New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed in Afghanistan.

His three-day visit included an overnight stay at the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team base in Bamiyan province.

“I am very impressed with what I saw,“ Dr Mapp said. “Our people in Afghanistan are doing an outstanding job in a very difficult environment. They clearly command the highest respect from the local people they are working with and our Coalition colleagues.

“The PRT will soon begin its transition towards an increased civilian component, in line with the Cabinet decision of 10 August. It is clear that Bamiyan is ready for the next stage of economic development.”

After the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting on Friday morning Dr Mapp will hold a series of bilateral meetings and attend a NATO-ISAF working lunch.

“It is important to attend such meetings, to ensure New Zealand’s voice is heard,” he said.

Dr Mapp returns to New Zealand on Monday.


ENDS

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