21 Jan 2011

Britain welcomes Pacific forces joining Afghan war

4:05 pm on 21 January 2011

The British defence secretary, Liam Fox, says he welcomes contributions by small Pacific countries to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military campaign in Afghanistan's civil war.

Mr Fox was speaking in Auckland where he has held talks with New Zealand government ministers.

The US-led war is in its tenth year and has the support of among others the Tongan army which last year dispatched 55 troops to Britain ahead of their deployment to fight the Taliban.

Mr Fox says Tonga's contribution is welcome.

"Many countries have got small contributions and they are hugely welcome - some are very niche contributions, but really add something."

Liam Fox