5 Jun 2012

NZ signs partnership accord with NATO

7:05 pm on 5 June 2012

After a decade fighting alongside NATO troops in Afghanistan, New Zealand has signed a new security agreement with the military alliance aimed at bringing the parties closer together.

Prime Minister John Key and the NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen signed the Individual Partnership and Co-operation Programme Arrangement at a ceremony at NATO's headquarters in Brussels on Monday.

Mr Key says the relationship between New Zealand and NATO has developed over the past 10 years, particularly because of this country's involvement in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

"I think it makes sense to build that framework and to build that level of cooperation together as we face an uncertain world with a great many challenges.

"From New Zealand's point of view, we've appreciated the support that we've had. We have worked and cooperated very successfully, I think, together."

John Key says increasing co-operation could include discussions on security matters of mutual interest and offering further NATO training opportunities to New Zealand's Defence Force.