Afghan withdrawal date confirmed
A decision to withdraw New Zealand troops from Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province by the end of April 2013 falls into line with many other coalition partners.
Foreign affairs minister Murray McCully and defence minister Jonathan Coleman today announced the withdrawal of the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) from the province.
Prime Minister John Key says it was always the government’s decision to withdraw from Bamiyan next year and today’s decision confirms that.
He says the decision is in line with other coalition partners.
“By the end of this year, many PRTs will be in the process of withdrawing. By the middle of next year, 11 of the 26 original PRTs across the country will be closed.”
He says it is a sensible, orderly and professional transition, which Bamiyan’s local authorities are happy with.
Mr Key says the government wanted to fit in with other planning and logistical considerations, along with the availability of the Bamiyan runway, which is out of commission from next April during a major upgrade.