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Immediate Release

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on New Zealand's Decision to Extend Its Role in the Counter-ISIL Coalition

June 20, 2016

I commend the government of New Zealand for its decision to extend its important role in the fight against ISIL in Iraq. The announcement to keep up to 143 trainers for the Building Partner Capacity mission at Taji until November 2018, to provide additional training of Iraqi Security Forces in Besmaya, and to also authorize the training of stabilization forces demonstrates New Zealand's commitment to dealing ISIL a lasting defeat. It follows New Zealand's earlier decision to deploy a C-130 Hercules and up to 40 personnel to support coalition operations. New Zealand has also pledged $1 million in stabilization funding for Iraq.

As I discussed last month in Stuttgart with New Zealand Minister of Defense Gerry Brownlee, the lasting defeat of ISIL must be a global undertaking, because ISIL is a global threat. Expanding the resources dedicated to the fight allows the coalition to further accelerate the campaign. I am grateful to the Government of New Zealand and Minister Brownlee for the decision to take these meaningful actions and to the people of New Zealand for their staunch support in this fight.