New Zealand Minister looks to closer ties with NATO

  • Last updated: 12 Aug. 2008 14:00

During a visit to NATO Headquarters on 23 January New Zealand Defence Minister Phil Goff said his country intends to use opportunities for closer cooperation with NATO.

b070123e 23rd January 2007 Visit to NATO by the Minister of Defence of New Zealand, Phil Goff  -	Phil Goff (Minister of Defence, New Zealand)

Minister Goff visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels for talks with the Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

They discussed NATO’s operations in Afghanistan, the outcome of the Alliance’s 2006 Riga Summit as well as other key issues on the international security agenda.

Closer cooperation

The Riga Summit paved the way for closer cooperation between NATO and countries like New Zealand – which are not members of NATO and do not belong to NATO’s formal partnership structures.

Minister Goff welcomed the decisions of the Riga Summit, and said New Zealand fully intends to use the opportunities for closer cooperation.

The Secretary General expressed his deep appreciation for New Zealand’s contribution to NATO’s Afghanistan mission.

The country currently leads a Provincial Reconstruction in Bamyan, numbering some 100 soldiers, police officers and civilian reconstruction experts.