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Key’s change of heart on Afghanistan welcome

Labour Leader

03 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Key’s change of heart on Afghanistan welcome

Labour is pleased with John Key’s change of heart and decision to bring forward the withdrawal of our troops in Afghanistan, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“We have been calling for our soldiers to come home as soon as practicable. We welcome the Government’s decision to bring the exit date forward to April next year, after its previous suggestions that the withdrawal would happen in 2014, then late 2013.

“Our soldiers have achieved remarkable results during the nine years that we have been on the ground in Afghanistan. Staying there any longer would not have made a significant difference to all we have achieved. There is a time to leave and this is it.

“It is important that we ensure the handover to the Afghan National Police is orderly and done in a way that puts them in the best possible position to build on what the Kiwi troops have done.

“New Zealand should be proud of the contribution we have made in Afghanistan. Our soldiers have provided security and assistance to the people of Bamyan for almost a decade.

“They have supported development and reconstruction in the region and their efforts have saved many lives. We thank them for their courage and dedication to helping the people of Afghanistan,” said David Shearer.

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