New Zealand announced to withdraw its troops and conclude its military mission in Afghanistan by May 2021.
Janidra Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta, and Defense Minister Peeni Henare announced that the country will withdraw its troops and end the military missions in Afghanistan.
“After 20 years of an NZDF presence in Afghanistan, it is now time to conclude our deployment,” Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern s said.
“The deployments to Afghanistan have been one of the longest-running in our history, and I wish to acknowledge the 10 New Zealanders who lost their lives in the line of duty, and the more than 3,500 NZDF and other agency personnel, whose commitment to replace conflict with peace will always be remembered,” she added.
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta stated that although the environment remains complex, the intra-Afghan peace process affords Afghanistan the best prospect of an enduring political solution.
Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealander Foreign Minister indicated that despite the environment being complex, the best prospect of enduring political solution is in intra-Afghan talks.
“New Zealand’s decision to conclude its deployment to Afghanistan in 2021 has been discussed with our key partners, with whom we have cooperated closely over the last twenty years,” Nanaia said
“New Zealand will continue to be supportive of the Afghan Government and its people in the years to come, including as they work through the intra-Afghan peace process in an effort to resolve the decades-long conflict,” she added.
According to Defense Minister Peeni Henare, New Zealand Defense forces have six personnel remaining in the country, three are stationed in Afghanistan National Army Officer Academy and three others are deployed to NATO resolute support headquarters.
“Together with our partners, New Zealand helped to establish the conditions for the current intra-Afghan peace process. We’ve supported regional security, and helped to improve the lives of the people of Afghanistan, particularly in Bamyan Province.
“Another important element of New Zealand’s support for Afghanistan has been our contribution to training and mentoring a new generation of Officers in the Afghanistan Army. The success of the mentoring program being conducted with the Afghanistan National Army Officer Academy means it is now self-sufficient enough for New Zealand’s contribution there to conclude,” Henare said.