Defence Minister visits NZ troops in Sinai

Wednesday 24 October 2012, 1:43PM
By Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Defence Dr Jonathan Coleman and Chief of Army Major General Tim Keating today visited Kiwi troops at North Camp in the Sinai Peninsula.

"It was a great opportunity to talk with our 28 strong Kiwi contingent who form part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) deployment that helps maintain peace between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai," said Dr Coleman.

"Our people are doing an excellent job as drivers, trainers and key operational planning personnel who contribute a huge amount to the MFO," he said.

New Zealand troops have been continuously stationed with the MFO in the Sinai since the start of the mission in 1982.

"Major General Warren Whiting, the overall commander of the MFO, is also a New Zealander and the visit was a good opportunity for full briefings on the security situation in the Sinai.  Our contribution to the MFO is an important one that is much appreciated by the Egyptian Government," said Dr Coleman

The Minister also met with the Director General of the MFO, Ambassador David Satterfield, and held a well-attended defence function in Cairo.

He will meet with the Egyptian Defence Minister, Colonel General El Sissi and members of President Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party prior to returning home.