10 Apr 2015

Afghan mandate decision yet to be made

8:08 pm on 10 April 2015

The Government is expected to make a decision on whether New Zealand Defence Force personnel in Afghanistan will remain in the country before its mandate there runs out at the end of the month.

Ministry of Defence says the Government hoped to make a decision soon on whether they would stay there.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said there are currently eight Defence Force staff at the Afghanistan National Army Training Academy in Kabul.

She said at the moment New Zealand provided development assistance to Afghanistan in the areas of agriculture, renewable energy, and support for policing by the Afghan National Security Forces.

New Zealand forces have been active in Afghanistan for more than a decade and the officially ended its operations there in March 2012.

Australia marked the end of their military deployment in Afghanistan in mid-March this year with parades.

Australia's Operation Slipper began in 2001 and involved more than 33,000 members of the Defence Force, Public Service and Federal Police who were deployed to Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Al Jazeera reported that NATO also carried out a ceremony closing its Afghan mission in late 2014, in secret due to the threat of Taliban strikes in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

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