New Zealand to Deploy Six NZDF Members to Middle East, Citing Maritime Security Concerns

New Zealand to Deploy Six NZDF Members to Middle East, Citing Maritime Security Concerns

Date:

What You Need to Know:

A statement released today on the New Zealand Government’s official website, announced the Luxon Government’s plan to deploy a small team of six to the Middle East region. 

Prime Minister Luxon claims, ““Houthi attacks against commercial and naval shipping are illegal, unacceptable and profoundly destabilizing. This deployment, as part of an international coalition, is a continuation of New Zealand’s long history of defending freedom of navigation both in the Middle East and closer to home.”

Although no NZ personnel will enter Yemen, the team is there to assist in the defense of maritime security interests in the Red Sea.  Foreign Minister Winston Peters claims ongoing Houthi attacks are a threat to commercial and naval vessels that operate in the area. 

Peters adds that this deployment stands separate from New Zealand’s stance on the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, “Any suggestion our ongoing support for maritime security in the Middle East is connected to recent developments in Israel and the Gaza Strip, is wrong.  We are contributing to this military action for the same reason New Zealand has sent defense personnel to the Middle East for decades – we care deeply about regional security because our economic and strategic interests depend on it.”

“These efforts support international security and the free flow of trade on which New Zealanders rely.”

It is not yet clear the role that the NZDF team will play in regards to the US/UK coalition in the region, which Today launched further strikes against Houthi rebels. However, the statement confirms that the team’s mission is not set to extend past July of this year. 

Defence Minister Judith Collins claims, “Our NZDF personnel are highly trained and this deployment will see them work alongside their counterparts on an important mission. New Zealand supports global stability and this deployment shows our commitment to efforts to address a serious threat to that stability.”

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.
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