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Gen. Dunford praises NZ contribution

Gen. Dunford praises NZ contribution

Apr 05, 2013 - 14:11

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The NATOinfo-icon commander on Friday praised New Zealand’s investment and contributions to the mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon over the past 12 years.

New Zealand, ending its decade-long military mission, promised to continue supporting Afghanistan well beyond the withdrawal of its troops.

Visiting Minister of Defence Jonathan Coleman held out the assurance at a joint press conference with Bamyan Governor Habiba Sarabi in Bamyan City late on Thursday.

He announced New Zealand’s decision on offering asylum to the 30 Afghan civilians who worked as interpreters with troops in central Bamyan province.

ISAFinfo-icon commander Gen. Joseph F. Dunford said: "Through the work of the New Zealand PRTinfo-icon, Bamyan now has stronger security and stability, and firm governance in place.” 

As New Zealand had kept its promise to its coalition partners and Afghan people, the general said he must acknowledge the 10 Kiwi personnel who died while serving in Afghanistan. “Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

In a statement, Gen. Dunford welcomed the visit this week by a high-level New Zealand delegation led by Governor-General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae, Minister of Defense Dr Jonathan Coleman and Secretary of Defense Helen Quilter.

The visit came as the troop-contributing nation closed its provincial reconstructioninfo-icon team (PRT) in central Bamyan province. Since 2003, the PRT has been responsible for contributing to improved security, development and governance. 

The New Zealand Defense Force has promised providing trainers at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy, intelligence and planning support to ISAF Special Operations Forces and staff officers attached to ISAF headquarters. 


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