The Green Party warmly welcome the decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq by June 2020, Green Party Defence Spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said.
“This has been years in the making. I am thrilled that a withdrawal is finally on the horizon after years of advocacy from New Zealanders who strongly believe we don’t need to follow America and Australia into the Iraq war.
“It has been a very constructive experience working with Minister Ron Mark on these issues. The Greens strongly advocated for an end to our military deployments in the Middle East, and I congratulate Cabinet on its decision.
“The Greens have long put forward a better alternative vision for how we make use of highly skilled military personnel.
“We’ve actively discouraged engagement in perpetual conflicts, which only feed the war industries and we know lead only to more violence. Instead New Zealand must put our efforts towards humanitarian aid, peace building, and support for our neighbours in the pacific.
“My focus will now turn to ensuring the remaining 11 personnel in Afghanistan, who are set to remain in the region for another year, are brought home.
“With this decision, New Zealand is increasingly standing, as we have done before, as an independent principled voice against war, it is a positive step for our country”.