Deputy Secretary General praises New Zealand’s contribution to stabilisation efforts in Afghanistan
During a visit to New Zealand from 3 to 4 February, Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero said that NATO wants to deepen cooperation with New Zealand, a coutry that may be geographically distant, but with which the Alliance shares the same concerns.
During the visit, the Deputy Secretary General met with Foreign Minister Murray McCully, Defence Minister Dr. Wayne Mapp, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Forces, Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones and other high-level government officials. He also met briefly with Prime Minister John Key. During the visit, talks focussed on two main themes: Afghanistan and the further development of NATO's relationship with New Zealand. The Deputy Secretary General praised his hosts for the very significant contribution New Zealand is making to the ISAF operation in Afghanistan.
“Despite having a relatively small population, New Zealand is among the largest non-NATO ISAF contributors and New Zealand’s engagement in the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan has been exemplary”, the Deputy Secretary General said.
The Deputy Secretary General also addressed the New Zealand Institute for International Affairs and the Centre for Strategic Studies in Wellington.