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NATO military boss visits New Zealand

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/06/2017

Defence Minister Mark Mitchell says he has had "very useful" talks in New Zealand with General Petr Pavel, NATO's most senior military officer.

General Pavel is in New Zealand for a counterpart visit with Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

His itinerary included meetings with officials and academics and visits to defence bases.

The talks with Mr Mitchell were held on Friday.

"I had a very useful meeting with General Pavel. I was able to follow up on recent discussions in Copenhagen and Singapore, and it was a good opportunity to share perspectives on security challenges facing NATO and New Zealand, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria," says Mr Mitchell.

New Zealand is one of NATO's strategic partners and contributes 10 personnel to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy which is part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

The government is still considering a request from the United States to send a small number of additional personnel to Afghanistan.

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