The early withdrawal "reflects the outstanding work that New Zealand PRT personnel have done to prepare the province for transition to local control."

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully says his country plans to take its troops out of Afghanistan one year ahead of schedule, Press TV reported.

McCully said on Tuesday that about 145 troops stationed in the central Afghan province of Bamiyan will come home in late 2013 instead of 2014.

The early withdrawal "reflects the outstanding work that New Zealand PRT personnel have done to prepare the province for transition to local control," McCully told Radio New Zealand from Chicago, where he was attending a NATO summit.

New Zealand withdrew a small contingent of its elite Special Air Service in March.

Wellington says the move is part of a wider withdrawal of US-led NATO forces. The South Pacific nation has had troops in Afghanistan since 2003, with only five casualties so far.

The rising number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the US and other members of the NATO military alliance, undermining public support for the US-led occupation of the country.

Your comment

Related posts

Latest news