NZ troops to pull out of Syria

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 17:24 22/08/2012

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New Zealand soldiers will pull out of Syria this week as the United Nations Supervision Mission ends.

The foreign affairs and defence ministers announced the pull out today.

"The UN Security Council's mandate for the mission expired on 19 August.  The UN has indicated it will have all international military observers, including all NZDF personnel, out of Syria by 23 August," Foreign Minister Murray McCully said.

"We acknowledge the bravery and commitment of the NZDF officers who have served in a dangerously volatile situation. Unfortunately, the worsening violence in Syria has made it impossible for the mission to carry out its mandated task.

"New Zealand was quick to provide assistance to the UN and deploy personnel to support Kofi Annan's six point plan to end the violence and monitor a ceasefire.

"We once again urge the Security Council to display leadership and to work collaboratively to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria," Mr McCully says.

Six New Zealand soldiers were initially deployed to Syria three months ago and that was halved in late July.

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