NZ not at the table to discuss Afghanistan evacuation

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta needs to ask the United States for a ‘please explain’ as to why New Zealand was not invited to the more than 20 country ministerial meeting, led by the US and Germany yesterday, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says.

“The Minister needs to make public the reason why New Zealand was not invited to the meeting which included the UN, NATO and the EU.

“New Zealand contributed military resources to the US-led war on Afghanistan for nearly 20 years, our longest serving deployment, which saw 10 New Zealand lives lost.

“Despite the courageous efforts of the New Zealand Defence Force and support partners to get New Zealand residents, New Zealand citizens, and those who supported our military efforts in Afghanistan out, there are still some hundreds of people eligible to be extracted to New Zealand who remain in Afghanistan.

“The Minister saying New Zealand will pursue further extraction opportunities with partner nations rings hollow when she’s not even invited to the table. A public ‘please explain’ as a minimum is required.”