New Zealand defence minister to attend Washington talks on Islamic State conflict

Added On July 18, 2016

 WELLINGTON, July 18 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is to attend top level meetings in Washington this month to discuss coalition plans to fight the Islamic State insurgency (Daesh) in Iraq and Syria.

Brownlee said Monday he would take part in the Counter-Daesh Defence Ministers Meeting hosted by U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on July 20 and the Counter-Daesh Foreign Ministers Meeting hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on July 21.
"As we have seen recently, Daesh continues to pose a significant threat not only to the citizens of Iraq and Syria but also the wider world," Brownlee said in a statement.
"These meetings provide an important opportunity to engage with other partners involved in the global coalition to counter the threat posed by Daesh," said Brownlee.
"Receiving first-hand observations from those in the field and ensuring a coordinated response to tackling Daesh is important," he said.
"We will be discussing the progress being made across all the coalition lines of effort, including the military campaign."
New Zealand has around 100 troops serving alongside 300 Australians in a mission to train Iraqi troops at Taji Military Base near Baghdad.
Earlier this year, the New Zealand's commitment to this mission was extended until November 2018 and the government agreed, in principle, to training stabilization forces required to ensuring law and order in Iraqi towns, cities and territories won back from Daesh.