Defence Minister Mark Mitchell will tomorrow travel to Copenhagen to attend the Defeat-ISIS Defence Ministerial Meeting.

The meeting will be on 9 May and is Mr Mitchell’s first international engagement as Defence Minister.

“The fight against ISIS, also known as Daesh, is going well and the global coalition has won significant territory back and continues to degrade Daesh's capability. However, Daesh continue to pose a significant threat to international security and we must continue to work together,” Mr Mitchell says.

“The meeting will include partners who want to end the fight with Daesh and combat violent extremism, and discussions will focus on continued progress in the fight and the next steps going forward.

“It is an excellent opportunity for me to engage with other leaders from around the world and show that New Zealand’s support to the coalition remains firm.

“I travelled to Iraq in April last year and saw first-hand the excellent work our forces were doing to train the Iraqis for their operations against Daesh.”

New Zealand contributes 106 troops to the Building Partner Capacity mission in Taji which, alongside the Australians, provides training to units of the Iraqi Security Forces.

Mr Mitchell will also undertake his first visit as Defence Minister to a defence base in Whenuapai today.

He will visit RNZAF Base Auckland where he will meet personnel and visit a number of units, as well as receive briefings on Royal New Zealand Air Force operations and capabilities.

“I spent my early years living on Whenuapai Air Force Base where my father was a Flight Lieutenant, so it is a privilege to return as the Defence Minister,” Mr Mitchell says.

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