3 Dec 2009

NZ unlikely to send more troops to Afghanistan

6:30 pm on 3 December 2009

Prime Minister John Key says it's unlikely that New Zealand will send additional troops to Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama is sending another 30,000 troops and has appealed for thousands more from NATO and other allies.

Mr Key says Mr Obama made it clear in his announcement that some countries had already increased their commitment, and New Zealand falls within that camp. The Government has redeployed the SAS to Afghanistan.

Mr Key says the SAS troops will return after their 18-month deployment and the Provincial Reconstruction Team will come home in five years. Altogether, New Zealand has 220 soldiers based in Afghanistan.

Siraj Salarzi from the Afghanistan Association of New Zealand says people there don't want more soldiers sent.

He says money should instead be spent rebuilding Afghanistan, in order to weaken the influence of the Taliban.