New Zealand troops to leave Afghanistan early
Wellington: New Zealand will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in 2013, a year earlier than previously scheduled, the government announced Tuesday.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the transition to Afghan forces in Bamyan province will be formally concluded later this year, and the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) would be withdrawn in 2013.
McCully made the announcement at a NATO summit in Chicago.
He said the earlier transition and withdrawal "reflects the outstanding work that New Zealand PRT personnel have done to prepare the province for transition to local control", Xinhua reported.
McCully said he has discussed the new timetable with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, Afghan ministers and other partners.
New Zealand-funded agricultural projects and a new solar energy plant will be substantively completed by then, he said.
New Zealand will continue contributing to the international effort in Afghanistan, offering a small number of training officers to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy. It will also provide for three years a sum of $2 million a year to the Afghan National Security Force for projects in Bamyan.
New Zealand has 140 troopers currently serving in Bamyan, focusing on security and training of the Afghan National Police. The province was the first to return to Afghan control last year.
New Zealand`s special forces unit, the Special Air Service Group, ended its deployment in Afghanistan in March. Five New Zealand soldiers have died in the country so far.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: How will business be conducted in the future?
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: How will business be conducted in the future? - Part II
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: How will business be conducted in the future? - Part III
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: How will business be conducted in the future? - Part IV
- Terrorist outfit IS releases hitlist; 4000 people including 285 Indians targeted
- Stop trafficking with a click! New TraffickCam app targets sex workers
- Mathura violence: Judicial probe into Jawahar Bagh incident begins
- IIFA 2016: Dramatic entry! When Shahid Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar hit the green carpet on Spanish donkeys - Pic inside
- Seven killed as car rams into minibus in Kenya's Kwale
- Hope law will be passed for construction of Ram temple by PM Narendra Modi-led government: VHP leader Pravin Togadia