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WikiLeaks: NZ's Unifil contributions -15/09/06

WikiLeaks cable: NZ's Unifil contributions

September 15, 2006 NZ's Unifil contributions

date:2006-09-15T05:42:00 source:Embassy Wellington origin:06WELLINGTON727 destination:VZCZCXYZ0235 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHWL #0727 2580542 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 150542Z SEP 06 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3269 INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 0002 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 4536 RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE RHHJJAA/JICPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE classification:CONFIDENTIAL reference:06SECSTATE148157 ?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000727

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EAP/ANP, AND NEA/ NSC FOR VICTOR CHA SECDEF FO... ?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000727

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EAP/ANP, AND NEA/ NSC FOR VICTOR CHA SECDEF FOR OSD/ISD LIZ PHU PACOM FOR J01E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2016 TAGS: PREL, PTER, ECON, NZ SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND'S UNIFIL CONTRIBUTIONS

REF: SECSTATE 148157

Classified By: Political-Economic Counselor Katherine B. Hadda, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: GNZ plans to announce soon a year-long deployment of a 4-person munitions team to Lebanon for demining and disposal of unexploded ordinances. Defence Minister Goff is also considering sending an additional team to train Lebanese Armed Forces. Pending Cabinet approval, GNZ also intends to extend its UNSO observers in Lebanon for two years (to end of September 2008), and to add an additional member to the group. End Summary.

2. (C) On September 15, Darryl Dunn, Director for the Middle East and Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Matthew Paterson, Policy Officer in MFAT's Security Policy Division, separately confirmed to PE Couns that New Zealand will soon announce the deployment of a 4-person munitions team to Lebanon. GNZ would like the team, which will engage in demining and disposal of unexploded ordinances, to be embedded with the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS). NZDF plans to deploy the team for one year starting in October 2006. MFAT has sent word of the planned deployment to the NZ missions in New York and Washington, but GNZ will not announce the deployment until it has UN acceptance and a reliable force protection and logistical support network has been identified.

3. (C) Dunn and Paterson say Defence Minister Goff is additionally looking into sending an additional expert team to train and advise the Lebanese Armed Forces in demining and unexploded ordinance disposal, and to help with strategic identification of areas in which to conduct this work.

4. (C) Cabinet approval for New Zealand's current UNSO contributions expires in two weeks. According to Dunn and Paterson, the Cabinet is being asked to approve on an expedited basis the extension of the deployment to September 30, 2008. The current New Zealand deployment includes seven observers and the UNSO Chief of Staff, Brigadier Lilley. The UN has asked New Zealand additionally to fill the Golan Heights Chief of Operations and Chief of Observer Group slots with NZDF Lt. Colonels. New Zealand is looking to fill both positions. As neither would be in Lebanon at the same time, this would bring New Zealand's total UNSO observer commitment to eight, the maximum that has been approved by the NZ Cabinet. Paterson asks that USG officials keep this information close hold until the Cabinet has approved the extension.

McCormick

ENDS

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