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Du GNew Zealand PM to attend NATO summit on Afghanistan
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10:39, March 30, 2008

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New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will leave for Europe on Monday evening to attend the NATO summit on Afghanistan in the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

New Zealand is among 15 non-NATO contributors to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan invited to NATO's Enlarged Meeting on Afghanistan, which will be held on April 3. The ISAF operates under a United Nations mandate.

"There is an emerging view that more can be done for Afghanistan. NATO will discuss a strategy for future international support for Afghanistan, including the need for increased co-ordination among key partners in Afghanistan to strengthen governance and development support to the Afghan Government," Clark said in a statement on Sunday.

New Zealand has Defense Force personnel in Afghanistan, serving in the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province and in headquarters and training courses in the country. The PRT maintains security, assists with reconstruction and development, and distributes emergency humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

According to the statement, following the NATO summit, the New Zealand prime minister will go to London to attend the Progressive Governance Leaders' Summit and Policy Network Conference, which will be held on April 4 and 5, and meet with a number of leaders including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"Leaders will be discussing trade and development issues and the reform of international institutions, following the Policy Network Conference which will also focus on climate change and sustainability," Clark said.


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