Special Rep appointment must be made quickly

It’s a positive move the Government has decided to appoint a Special Representative for Afghanistan to help bring back visa holders, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says.

“The reality is the Special Representative will have to work with like-minded countries to extract the 1250 visa holders from Afghanistan to New Zealand.

“We cannot remain excluded from diplomatic discussions on Afghanistan, as we were in the US-led meeting with 20 other nations on conditions for cooperation with the Taliban, movement of foreign nationals and the protection of women and children.

“It’s important the person appointed has a high understanding of military interoperability between like-minded nations and is well supported with diplomatic capacity.

“Having made the decision the Government now needs to make this appointment as quickly as possible.

“This is an important appointment and there needs to be appropriate recognition of the required skills to get this job done.”