Iraqi Foreign Minister to visit NZ

  • Murray McCully
Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the upcoming visit to New Zealand by Iraq’s Foreign Minister Dr Ibrahim al-Ja'afari.

“Global attention is currently on Iraq as the new government there focuses on rebuilding the country and combating the spread of ISIL,” Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand is currently considering options for a non-combat, training role, in Iraq and this visit is an opportunity to gain the Iraqi Government’s perspective on how New Zealand can best assist.

“We have already committed $14.5 million in humanitarian aid to help people displaced by the fighting in Iraq and Syria and stepped up diplomatic efforts aimed at addressing the spread of extremist ideologies.

“Any capacity building role for the New Zealand military in Iraq will be dependent on an invitation from the Iraqi Government. The discussions with Foreign Minister al-Ja'afari this Friday are an important step in determining whether there is a role for us to play in support of the Iraqi defence forces,” Mr McCully says.

Dr al-Ja'afari will meet with Prime Minister Key, Defence Minister Brownlee and Foreign Minister McCully during his one day visit to Auckland on 13 February.