New Delhi: New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) deployment to Afghanistan will be concluded by May 2021. New Zealand Prime Minister Jesinda Ardern said this on Wednesday. “After 20 years of NZDF’s presence in Afghanistan, now is the time for our deployment to end,” Ardern said in a statement.
“The deployment to Afghanistan has been one of the longest in our history. I would like to thank the 10 New Zealanders who sacrificed their lives for their duty,” he said.
The Prime Minister also expressed gratitude to the more than 3,500 NZDF and other agency personnel, who have contributed with efforts to establish peace with commitment. The report by the news agency Xinhua states that Foreign Minister Naniya Mahuta has said that although the atmosphere remains complex, there is the best possibility of a peace process and a lasting political solution in Afghanistan.
“New Zealand’s decision to end its deployment in Afghanistan in 2021 has been discussed with our key partners, with whom we have collaborated over the last 20 years,” he said.
Defense Minister Pini Henre said the current deployment included six NZDF personnel and three of them were stationed at the Afghanistan National Army Officers Academy and three at the NATO Resolute Support Mission Headquarters.