You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Labour leader visits troops in Iraq

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/04/2016

Labour leader Andrew Little has paid a visit to Kiwi troops at Camp Taji, in Iraq.

Mr Little accompanied Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee on a visit to the base, saying it was important to see the work troops were doing.

While Labour opposed the deployment of Kiwi troops to Iraq because of the Iraq Army's poor track record, it supported the troops on the ground, he said.

"The situation in Iraq, as well as Syria, remains hugely challenging and it is not yet certain how the Iraqi security forces will address issues of motivation and discipline, and continuing ethno-sectarian divisions across the whole army," he said.

Iraq's complicated needs would not be met in the two years the government had set for the troops' mission and it should be honest with the public about its plans, he said.

While in Iraq, Mr Little met with the Iraqi defence minister and now heads to Jordan to visit the Zaatari Refugee Camp, where 80,000 refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict are based.

Minister Brownlee said Kiwi military personnel at Taji have trained more than 4000 Iraqi troops since their deployment in April 2015.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon