Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has welcomed the announcement by the New Zealand government that they will maintain their Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan province until 2014.
The commitment meets the timeframe in which both the Afghan government and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) aim to complete full security transition to the Afghan National Security Forces.
The New Zealand government has agreed to commit 140 of its Defence Force personnel to the Bamyan PRT, under ISAF Regional Command (East). They will be focused on building the capacity of the Afghan National Police and providing a security presence to enable development activities to be carried out.
Dr Fox said:
On behalf of the British government, I welcome New Zealand’s announcement to commit resources to Bamyan province into 2014.
New Zealand continues to perform good work in Afghanistan. The firm commitment of forces out to 2014, sends a positive message to other allies to follow their example, and adopt the ‘in together, out together’ approach espoused by NATO; they should be congratulated for taking such an important step towards achieving the goals set out at the Lisbon Summit.
The New Zealand government has restated that it is fully commitment to getting the job done in Afghanistan, and is focussed on providing the necessary resources and working with partner nations to ensure a successful transition in Bamyan.
New Zealand currently contributes 236 troops to Afghanistan.