New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday the ongoing peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban movement in the Qatari capital Doha is the best opportunity to reach a permanent political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
The prime minister announced in a statement that her country will pull its last six troops out of Afghanistan by May as part of the Doha agreement concluded in February 2020 between the US and the Taliban, which stipulated the withdrawal of all foreign troops.
"After 20 years of a NZDF presence in Afghanistan, it is now time to conclude our deployment," Ardern said in her statement.
Three of the troops are deployed to the Afghanistan National Army Officer Academy and three to the NATO Resolute Support Mission Headquarters.
The NATO defence ministers will take part this week in a virtual conference to discuss their plans for Afghanistan as violence escalates.
The US administration of President Joe Biden has said it would review the Doha agreement concluded with the Taliban as part of its study of all agreements and decisions taken by former US President Donald Trump.