Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending New Zealand special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to an unfolding crisis there.
Speaking in New York, Key said the New Zealand government was currently looking at what humanitarian aid it might provide as tens of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced by a violent takeover of parts of the country. …
New Zealand special forces soldiers were deployed to Afghanistan in a similar role.
But Key said he did not believe it likely that New Zealand special forces would be deployed or requested.
“I don’t think that’s likely. We’re just so far away from probably ever having to make that call. But in the end in so much as with any global issue, as things play out New Zealand would always look to the [United Nations] Security Council for its view and its sanction of anything that may happen. So you can never say never in a world where the Security Council decides that Iraq needs support of some sort, engineers or whatever it might be, that could always be considered but I think that’s very unlikely.”
Asked if that meant he could rule out New Zealand special forces soldiers being deployed to Iraq, even in an advisory capacity, Key responded; “I would say yes’.
This means that the only Prime Minister to seen soldiers to Iraq remains Helen Clark.