New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern thanks UAE for evacuation support in Afghanistan

Group of New Zealanders travelled back home via UAE

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern thanked her country's partners for their 'continued support in what remains a very difficult situation'. Getty Images
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New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday thanked the UAE for supporting her country’s evacuation efforts in Afghanistan.

New Zealand’s Minister of Defence Peeni Henare called Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, UAE's Minister of State for Defence Affairs, earlier during the day to praise the role played by the Emirates.

“I can say that the group were evacuated from Afghanistan to the UAE, where arrangements were made for their travel to New Zealand with the help of Australia’s Defence Force,” Ms Ardern said at a press conference.

“I do want to thank our partners, Australia, the UAE and the US who worked on securing the airport and for their continued support in what remains a very difficult situation on the ground.”

Matthew Hawkins, New Zealand’s ambassador to the UAE, told Wam news agency: “The UAE’s unwavering support in getting New Zealanders home from Afghanistan demonstrates the strength of our relationship.”

“More importantly it shows a kindness and generosity that is already felt by the 4,000 New Zealanders who live, work and raise their families in the UAE.”

Group Captain Nick Olney, New Zealand Defence Force Senior National Officer for the NZDF contingent, also thanked the “UAE for its generosity in hosting the contingent as we undertake our biggest evacuation effort for many years".

“With the UAE’s support, we are working with partners to bring New Zealand citizens, permanent residents who are in Afghanistan and their immediate families to safety, as well as those who have been put at risk due to their direct connection to New Zealand efforts in Afghanistan.”

Updated: August 23, 2021, 6:12 PM