Search

 

Cablegate: New Zealand Troops Return From Iraq; No Future

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000824

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/ANP, NEA/I

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND TROOPS RETURN FROM IRAQ; NO FUTURE
DEPLOYMENTS SCHEDULED

Classified By: POL/ECON COUNSELOR KATHERINE B. HADDA,
REASON 1.5 (B, D)

1. (C) Summary: New Zealand's 12-month military deployment to
Iraq ended September 25, with the homecoming of over 60
engineers and support staff. Prime Minister Helen Clark
welcomed the troops, and issued a public statement confirming
that no further deployments to Iraq are being considered.
While ruling out military assistance, Clark did, however,
indicate a willingness to provide additional aid funds, and
to look favorably on a request from the UN for one or two
military officers to serve in UN headquarters in Baghdad.
Post continues to encourage the GoNZ to remain engaged in
Iraq, but political and resource constraints virtually ensure
Clark will not go beyond what she has already indicated. End
Summary.

NZ Troops Return Home
----------------------

2. (U) New Zealand's 61-person Light Engineer Group was
welcomed home September 25 by New Zealand Prime Minister
Helen Clark and Defense Minister Mark Burton, ending NZ's
military presence in Iraq. The engineers, second 6-month
deployment in Basra, Iraq had been hampered in recent weeks
by deteriorating security conditions, but Clark stressed that
the engineers had not simply waited out their time, but had
remained in the hopes of completing more of their planned
work.

No Troops, But Financial Aid Possible
-------------------------------------

3. (C) In media interviews Clark has made clear that the GoNZ
is not considering sending either military or civilian aid
personnel to Iraq, noting that the situation is "too
difficult and too dangerous." While ruling out military
assistance, Clark has, however, stated publicly a willingness
to provide additional aid funds, and to look favorably on a
request from the UN for one or two military officers to serve
in UN headquarters in Baghdad. (Comment: A senior MOD
source told DCM that the New Zealand UN Mission had been
instructed to work with the UN to ensure that an
"appropriate" invitation would be issued once the UN was
ready to return to Iraq. End Comment.) In an interview with
NZ media September 26, Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi
emphasized that a secure Iraq would serve as a defense for
New Zealand. He listed a number of areas where the GoNZ
could assist, including the provision of troops to protect UN
agencies, technical assistance or participation in the
multinational force.

4. (C) Comment: Clark's insistence that further GoNZ
assistance would be either solely financial, or at the behest
of the UN is in keeping in tone with earlier comments. She
has always studiously refrained from linking NZ's presence in
Iraq to the US and the Coalition, and consistently argued
that her government's decision to deploy to Iraq was taken in
order to support NZ's commitments to the UN and the
multilateral system. Despite this, Post continues to
emphasize that, under UN auspices or not, the GoNZ needs to
remain engaged in Iraq in some capacity. While Clark was
adamant that the troops were returning based on a
pre-determined schedule (and indeed, they are in need of a
rest after a their grueling six-month deployment), domestic
pressures have likely played a role. Much of the North
Island was damaged by severe storms and flooding in the first
half of 2004. Infrastructure repairs have been hampered by a
shortage of civil engineers, and the returning troops will
fill this critical gap.
Burnett

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Myanmar: UN Condemns Escalating Violence In Deadliest Day Of Protests So Far

In response to the killing of at least 18 protesters demonstrating against Myanmar’s military coup, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) on Sunday together with the UN chief, strongly condemned the “escalating violence” and called for an immediate end to the use of force... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>